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A Comprehensive Dictionary with Special Reference to the 
Epic and Purariic Literature 



Delhi Patna Varanasi 


Indological Publishers & Booksellers 


Branches : 1. CHOWK, VARANASI-1 (u.P. ) 


ISBN 08426 0822 2 

All Rights reserved by the Author 

First Edition in Malayalam : Kottayam : 1964 

Second Edition ,, ,, ,, 1967 

Third Edition ,, ,, ,, 1971 

Fourth Edition ,, ,, ,, 1974 

First Edition in English : Delhi, 1975 

; Distributed by: 
South Asia Books 
Box 502 
Columbia, MO 65201 

Printed in India 





I feel flattered and consider it to be great privilege to have been asked by Shri Vettam Mani to 
contribute a foreword to his Puranic Encyclopaedia, a really magnificent literary production, 
massive in size and rich and invaluable in contents. This is the first attempt in Malayalam and for 
the matter of that in any Indian or foreign language, so far as I know, to produce a comprehensive 
and well-nigh exhaustive book of study and reference with regard to episodes, incidents, characters 
etc. occurring in the many Puranas and such other works in Sanskrit. In the field of mythology, with 
regard to variety and contents as also sheer bulk, Greece stands first. Egypt comes only next. But 
Indian mythology the epics and the puranas far exceeds and excels both Greek and Egyptian mytho- 
logies put together in merit and size. Even the preparation of a complete list of characters mentioned 
in our epics, puranas etc. will be a stupendous and well-nigh impossible task calling for the combined 
efforts of a number of scholars. But, fortunately for us, each and every such name, one need not 
necessarily know or be acquainted with. At the same time there are great names which compel atten- 
tion and should not escape a proper study. And, such names are legion, and Shri Mani has not 
omitted mention of even one such name in his great work. I looked up the encyclopaedia for a few 
such random names, and was really surprised to find detailed treatment of the same in the book. More- 
over, with reference to really important names, incidents and episodes connected with them and the 
whole genealogy are given. Everything is fully documented and quite authoritative. And, deep, 
extensive and exhaustive study, patient and untiring research and above all absolute dedication to the 
cause are so very patent on every page of the book. Literally and in effect Shri Mani's is a unique 
contribution, the first and foremost book, in the magnificent spheres of religion, culture, scholar- 
ship and history all put together. As the pioneer in the field he can justly feel happy and proud about 
his rare achievement, and he deserves in ample measure the unstinted praise and appreciation of all 
lovers of learning and culture. 

Shri Mani has already earned well-deserved reputation as a teacher, especially in Malayalam, 
and also as a diligent student of literature and author of talent. He evidently possesses a flair for 
research. All such distinguished talents and attainments of his have been fully and quite successfully 
commissioned in the preparation of this marvellous encyclopaedia. He has put every lover of learning 
and knowledge everywhere, under an eternal debt of gratitude by the publication of this noble work. 


Retired Judge, Chief Court, Cochin and 
Ex-President Keral Sahitya Academy. 


It is a matter of profound pleasure and pride for me that the internationally famous publishers 
in the field of Indology, M/s Motilal Banarsidass of Delhi are publishing the English translation of my 
Puranic Encyclopaedia, which was originally published in Malayalarn, and which has already run 
into four editions. 

The Puranas along with the Great Epics the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, have for 
centuries, profoundly influenced Indian life and Culture. The well-known definition of a Purana 
as a work having five characteristic features purdnam paiicalakfanam namely, primary creation, secon- 
dary creation, the genealogies, the ages of Manu, and the dynastic account hardly does justice to the 
full significance of these works. They are much more than that. While their genealogies and the 
dynastic account form the bed-rock of the political history of ancient India, they throw a flood of light 
on all aspects of Indian Culture its religion, social practices, art, literature and sciences. They serve 
as the key to the proper understanding of the various aspects of Hinduism its beliefs, its modes of 
worship, its mythology, its festivals, feasts, and fasts, its sacred shrines and places of pilgrimage, its philo- 
sophy and ethics and its theogony. Truly it has been said that a Brahmin was not really wise if he did 
not know the Puranas. The study of ancient Indian history, and culture particularly religion is 
impossible without a proper knowledge of the Puranas. As a matter of fact, it is virtually impossible 
to understand not only ancient Indian culture and life, but also the literature in modern Indian 
languages, as it largely draws upon the ideas and ideologies as embodied in the contents of the Puranas 
and the epics. 

The literary writings in all Indian languages are indebted to the Epics and the Puranas in more than 
one way their form, content, ideas and ideologies are all influenced to a greater or lesser extent by these 
ancient works. Direct and indirect allusions to Puranic episodes, characters, events, are frequently 
to be met with in the literary writings of all Indian languages. Teachers engaged in imparting instruc- 
tion in the literature in modern Indian languages must therefore be conversant with the contents of 
the Puranas and Epics in order to be able to explain these allusions wherever they occur in the 
writings in modern Indian languages. However, it is well nigh impossible for an average teacher to go 
through the whole of this vast literature. Thus the need for a handy work of reference like the present 
Encyclopaedia is apparent. 

The desire to compile a Purar ic Dictionary that should solve many of the day to day problems of 
the Indian language teacher, took root in me, several years ago, but I could not arrogate to myself the 
capacity to fulfill this urgent need. I waited for many years, for more competent and better equipped 
scholars to come forward and produce a work of my dreams. But since no one appeared to quench 
this thirst, I plunged myself into this vast ocean of Sanskrit literature, and for thirteen years I dived 
deep into it, studying not only the original texts but also modern works in English, Sanskrit, Malayalam 
and Hindi. This took me five years, and I spent about twenty thousand rupees on books and travelling 
for this project. I started the compilation on 1st of January, 1955, and it took me seven years to start 
preparing the Press copy of my work. The first volume of my 'Puranic Nighantu' was released in 
February 1964 and the remaining four were published after an interval of six months in each case. 
The second edition of all the five volumes was brought out in May 1967, still under the original title 
'Puranic Nighantu'. However, in the third revised and enlarged edition in one volume published in 
October, 1971, the name was changed to 'Puranic Encyclopaedia'. 

In an endeavour like this imperfections and drawbacks are only inevitable, and I am fully cons- 
cious of the same. But as a pioneer effort, and as a much needed aid to the teaching and study of 
Malayalam language and literature, it will, I hope, be found useful. Scholars and general readers in 
Malayalam have been generous in welcoming the encyclopaedia. That four editions of the work had 
to be brought out within a period of seven years from 1 967 to 1 974 speaks eloquently for the merit, and 
utility of the work and I feel my labour and expense amply rewarded. I felt still more flattered when 
the celebrated firm of M/s Motilal Banarsidass of Delhi, who have already laid the world of Indology 
under a deep debt of obligation by their monumental publications in all fields of Indian Culture and his- 
tory, mooted a proposal for publishing an English translation of the Malayalam original. I am deeply 
indebted to them for bringing my work before a much wider circle of readers. The onerous task of 
translating the work into English was entrusted to a committee of five scholars : 1. Mr. P. Rajaram 

Menon, Professor of English, Basel mission College, Kottayam; 2. Mr. K. R. Atchutan Nayar, retired 
Professor of English, C.M.S. College, Kottayam; 3. R. K. Kartha, ex-Chief Editor, Deshbandhu, 
Kottayam; 4. P.I.John, Retired Headmaster, Kurichi ; and 5. Mr. P. N. Menon, Ollur. 
I need hardly point out that these members of the editorial committee are highly qualified for 
this work and I must gladly acknowledge the fact that they have more than amply justified the trust 
placed in them. 

Finally, I cannot adequately express my feelings of deep gratitude to Shri Puthezathu Rama 
Menon, the doyen of Malayalam literature, for writing an excellent introduction to the original 
Malayalam edition of the work. I am also beholden to many scholars and the reading public who 
have been pleased to extend a most generous welcome to the Encyclopaedia. 


22.2.1975 VETTAM MANI 

Puranic Encyclopaedia 


A (si). The first letter (Vowel) of all Indian languages. 

According to the Nanartharatnamala this letter has the 

following meanings: Brahma, Visnu, Siva, tortoise, 

courtyard, battle, harem, jewellery, sea, Parvati and bow- 
string. . 
ABALA is one of the fifteen devas who were the sons ot 

Paiicajanya. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 22, Verse 11). 
ABHAYA was one of the sons of Dhrtarastra. He was 

killed by Bhimasena. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 67, 

Verse 104; Drona Parva, Chapter 127, Verse 62). 
ABHAYAM. King Idhmajihva divided his kingdom 

Plaksadvlpa into seven parts and gave them to his 

severi sons. Abhayam is one of the parts. The other six 

parts are: Sivarh, Yamasarii, Subhadram, Santam, 

Ksemarh and Amrtam. See "Idhmajihva". (Bhagavata, 

5th Skandha, Chapter 20, Verse 2). It is seen (from 

M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 30, Verse 9) that the 

territory known as Abhayam was conquered by 

Bhimasena. (See Foot-note) 
ABHIBHU. He was a King, the son of the King ot Kasi 

and a relative of the Pandavas. He was killed by the 

son of King Vasudana. He had a most wonderful 

horse. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 151, Verse 63; 

Kama Parva, Chapter 6, Verses 23-24; Drona Parva, 

Verses 26-27). 

ABHIMANYU I. He was the heroic son of Arjuna the cen- 
tral figure of the Mahabharata, by his wife Subhadra. 

1) Genealogy. He was descended from Visnu in this order: 

Brahma-Atri-Candra-Budha-Pururavas - Ayus - Nahusa- 

Yayati-Puru-Janamejaya- Pracinva - Pravira - Namasyu- 

Vltabhaya-Sundu-Bahuvidha-Sarhyati-Rahovadi - Raud- 

rasva-Matinara-Santurodha-Dusyanta - Bharata -Brhat- 

ksatra-Hasti- Ajamidha-Rksa-Sariivarana -Kuru-Jahnu- 

Siiratha - Viduratha-Sarvabhauma -Jayatsena - Raviya - 

Bhavuka-Cakroddhata-Devatithi - Rksa-Bhima - Pratlya- 


2} Purvajanma (Previous Birth}. There is a story about 

Abhimanyu's Purvajanma in the Mahabharata. It was 

Varcas, son of Candra, who incarnated as Abhimanyu, 

son of Arjuna. A conference took place between the 

Devas and Candra about the incarnation of the Devas 

in the world for the destruction of the wicked people. 

Candra told the Devas: "I do not like to send Varcas, 

whom I love more than my life, to the earth. Still, I 

think it is not right to stand in the way of the plans oi 

the gods. You must agree to one condition if I am to 

send my son. Let him be born as the son of Arjuna. 

I am unable to be separated from him for more than 

sixteen years. My son will enter into the Cakra Vyuha 

of the enemies to be killed by them and return to me 

in the sixteenth year." The devas (gods) accepted this 

condition. That is why Abhimanyu was killed m his 

sixteenth year. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 67). 

3 ) Military Training and War. Abhimanyu received his 
training in arms from his father Arjuna. Later, he 

went with his mother Subhadra to Dvaraka and lived 

for some time with his uncle Sri Krsna. There he is 

said to have received training in arms from Pradyumna, 

son of Sri Krsna. After the incognito life of the 

There seems to be some difference of opinion regarding the number of parts into which King Idhmajihva divided 

In the BhSvata th number mentioned is Seven; but in the Malayalam version of te*^*<fr*&* AbSTifc 
the number is eieht The original Bhagavata says: "Sivam Yamasam, Subhadram, Santam, Ksemam, Amrtam ADnayam 
VarsaTSu girTyo nadyalca sap"a%abhijlatah". In the Malayalam Bhagavata an eighth division called S.vadam ,s seen. 

Pandavas, Abhimanyu married Uttara, daughter of 
the King of Virata. War broke out between Kauravas 
and Pandavas. On the first day itself Abhimanyu 
entered into a duel with Brhatbala, King of Kosala. 
In the terrible conflict with Bhlsma, Abhimanyu broke 
Bhisma's flagstaff. After that he assisted his father Arjuna 
to fight against Bhlsma. Verses 8-13 of Chapter 55 of 
Bhlsma Parva of the Mahabharata describe Abhi- 
manyu's fight with Laksmana in the second day's battle. 
Then he took his place in the Ardha Candra Vyuha 
(semi-circular phalanx) formed by Arjuna. He fought 
fiercely with the Gandharas. He attacked Salya and kill- 
ed Jayatsena, King of Magadha, along with his elephant. 
We find Abhimanyu assisting Bhimasena in M.B. Bhlsma 
Parva, Chapters 63, 64, 69 and 94. After that 
Abhimanyu defeated Laksmana in battle. Then he 
defeated Vikarna, Citrasena and others also. Later he 
took his position in the Srrigataka Vyuha created by 
Dhrstadyumna. He started fighting with Bhagadatta. 
He defeated Ambastha and Alambusa. Next he fought a 
duel with Sudisna. After that he encountered Duryo- 
dhana, Brhatbala and others. M.B. Drona Parva, 
Chapter 10, Verses 47-52 are a description of Abhi- 
manyu's heroism by Dhrtarastra. He snatched Paurava's 
weapon and threw it on the ground. Next he fought 
with Jayadratha and Salya. Then he was caught in the 
Cakra Vyuha (circular phalanx) of the enemies. 
There he inflicted great losses upon the enemy forces. 
Salya was stunned and his brother was killed by 
Abhimanyu. M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 38, Verses 23 
and 24 describe the flight of the Kauravas in fear. At 
this stage, even Dronacarya praised Abhimanyu's 
valour. Dussasana fainted during his fight with Abhi- 
manyu. Kama was defeated. Vrsasena, SatyaSravas 
and Salya's son, Rugmaratha were slain. Duryodhana 
fled. Laksmana was killed. Vrndaraka, Asvatthama, 
Kama and others were amazed by this terrible valour 
of Abhimanyu. Six ministers of Kama were slain. 
Next, Asvaketu, son of the King of Magadha was 
killed. King Bhoja was also killed. Salya was again 
defeated. Satrunjaya, Candraketu, Meghavega, Suvarcas, 
Suryabhasa who were all kings were beheaded by 
Abhimanyu. Sakuni was wounded by Abhimanyu's 
arrow. Kalakeya, son of Subala was slain. M.B. Drona 
Parva, Chapter 40, Verses 13 and 14 say that at this 
stage, Prince Dus'sasana beat Abhimanyu to death with 
his mace. 

4) After Death. M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 71, Verses 
12-16 say that after death Abhimanyu attained the 
immortal world of the Munis (Saints). King Pariksit 
was the son of Abhimanyu. In M.B. Svargarohana 
Parva, Chapter 5, Verses 18-20, we find that after his 
death, Abhimanyu entered the moon in his former form 
of Varcas. 

5) Other names of Abhimanyu. In the Mahabharata 
Abhimanyu has been referred to by several otherjiames, 
such as ARJUNI, Saubhadra, Karsni, Arjunatmaja, 
Sukratmajatmaja, Arjunapara and Phalguni. 

6) Other details. King Pariksit was the son of Abhi- 
manyu. Janamejaya was born as his son. It was Janame- 


jaya who performed Sarpasatra (A yaga) Satanika t was 
Ihesonof Janamejaya. Salfuiika had a so named 

Sahasrfmika. King Udayana, l 11 ^' 6 ^ 1 ^ ,, m 'ka by 
Vam<a (Lunar dynasty) was born to Sahasiamk 
the goddess Mr^vati (Sec 'Udayana', stones about 
his Udavana 2? very famous. Kalidasa has mentioned 
n his "Meghaduta" about the old rustics who thronged 
tho ,,,umrv sides to tell and listen to Udayana stones). 
(Kathasaritsagara, Madana Kancukalambaka, 

AB T HIM\NYU II. One of the sons of Manu. The ten 
sons born to Manu by Nadvala were: Kuru, Puru, 
SattdvSmna, Tapaavl, Satyavan, Sue, Agnistoma, 
Adhiratra, Sudvumna and Abhimanyu. (Visnu Purana, 

PARVA. A part (branch) of 
DronaParva. (See "Mahabharata",. 

ABHINAYA. In Agni Purana, Chapter 342, Abhinaya 
has been defined as follows: Abhinaya is the art oi 
presenting before the people the ideas that are to be 
fommunkated to them. There are four divisions of 
this art known as Sattvika, Vacika, Ang.ka and Aharya 
depending on Sattva, Vak, Anga and Aharya. Besides 
these, another division known as Abhimamka (Abhi- 
manottha) may also be mentioned. This signifies the 
expression of rasas like Srhgara. There are two kinds 
of Srngara known as Sarhbhoga and Vipralambha. 
Four' varieties of Vipralambha called Purvanuraga 
Vipralambha, Mana Vipralambha, Pravasa Vipra- 
lambha and Karuna Vipralambha are mentioned. The 
union after Vipralambha is Sambhoga-Srngara. All 
Sattvika bhavas are included in Srrigara. All these have 
to be expressed through Abhinaya. 

ABHIRU. A Rajarsi who was born of the sixth 
Kalakeya. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 5 

ABHISAKAM. A Janapada (Village) of ancient India. 
The' warriors of this Janapada were called Abhisakas. 
(M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 18, Verse 12; Chapter 
93, Verse 2). 

ABHISARAM. A Janapada of ancient India. (M.B. 
Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 94). 

ABHISARl. Arjuna conquered this city, which was 
one of the ancient cities of India, in the course of 
his Digvijaya (conquest of the world). 

ABHISYANTA. A son born to Maharaja Kuru by 
Vahini. He had three brothers named Caitraratha, 
Muni and Janamejaya. Abhisyanta was the younger 
brother of ASvavan and elder brother of Caitraratha. 
(M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Verses 50-51). 

AC ALA I.I) General. Acala was the son of Subala, a 
King of Gandhara. He was Sakuni's brother and a 
heroic Charioteer on the side of the Kauravas. (M.B. 
Udyoga Parva, Chapter 168, Verse 1). 

2) Acala had also taken part in Yudhisfhira's Raja- 
suya. (A very expensive sacrifice yaga performed by 
an emperor.) (M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 34, Verse 7). 

3) Acala had a brother named Vrsaka. In the battle 
between the Kauravas and Pandavas, Arjuna killed 
Acala and Vrsaka. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 30, 
Verse 11). 

4) One night Vyasa summoned the departed holy souls 
and Acala also was among them. (M.B. Asva- 
medhika Parva, Chapter 32, Verse 12). 


ACALA II. Name of a bull. Among the parsadas of 
Skanda we see the bull named Acala. (M.B. Salya 
Parva, Chapter 85, Verse 74). 

ACALA III. An epithet of Mahavisnu. Among 
thousand names oi Mahavisnu we see the name Acala 
also. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 149, Verse 92). 

ACALA. Subrahmanya, who was born from Siva s 
semen which fell into the fire, was made Commander- 
in-Chief (Generalissimo) by the gods to kill Turakasura. 
A large number of warriors and mothers were 
assigned to assist him. A woman named Acala was in- 
cluded among those mothers. (M.B. Salya Parva, 
Chapter 40, Verse 14). 

ACCHODA. A spiritual daughter of the Pitrs. (For 
further details see "Amavasu"). 

ACCHODASARAS. A river, who was the daughter o 
the Pitrs called Agnisvattas. (Hari Vamsa, Chapter 18, 
Verse 26). 

ACYUTA. (See Visnu). 

ACYUTAYU. He was a heroic warrior on the J 

side. Srutayu was the brother of Acyutayu. Both of 
them were killed by Arjuna in the Kaurava-Pandava 
battle. These heroes attacked Arjuna and Sri Krsna 
furiously with their arrows and Arjuna had some 
difficulty in killing them. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 
93, Verses 7-42) . 

ACYUTA STHALA. This is an ancient village in 
India. In ancient times Sudras of mixed castes 
inhabited this region. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 
129, Verse 9). 

ADHARMA. A description of the lineage oi Adharma 
is found in Agni Purana. Hirhsa (violence) is the 
consort of Adharma. The couple procreated two 
children, Anrta and Nikrti, and from them sprang 
up Bhaya (fear), Naraka (Hell), Maya (illusion), 
Vedana (pain) etc. And, out of them Maya brought 
forth Death, the destroyer of (all) objects. Vedana, in 
its turn produced Sorrow and Grief out of Raurava. 
From Death were born Disease, Senility, Sorrow, Intense 
desire and Anger. (Agni Purana, Chapter 20). 

ADHARMA. Adharma is a person who is an embodi- 
ment of Adharmas. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 66, 
Verse 53). Adharma's wife Nirrti delivered 3 children; 
Bhaya, Mahabhaya and Mrtyu. Adharma had another 
son, Darpa (conceit) born of Wealth. (M.B. Santi 
Parva, Chapter 90, Verse 27). 

ADHAS"lRAS I was a great sage. Sri Krsna is said 
have met the sage on his way to Hastinapura. (M.B. 
Udyoga Parva, Chapter 33, Verse 64). 

ADHASSIRAS II. There is a reference in Visnu 
Purana to a hell called Adhassiras. (Visnu Purana, Part 

2, Chapter 6). 

ADHlRA. A King; also a great devotee oi Lord biva. 
Once he decreed death penalty on an innocent woman. 
He also destroyed with his own hands a temple of Siva. 
As a consequence of those two sinful deeds he became 
a devil after death. Ultimately by the grace of Siva 
he cast off the devil's form and became an attendant of 
Siva. (Padma Purana, Patala Khanda, Chapter 111). 

ADHIRAJYA. A Kingdom in ancient India, described 
in Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 44. Today this place 
is known as Rewa. 

ADHIRATHA. Foster father of Karna. 

1) Lineage. Descended from Visnu thus : Brahma-Atri- 
Candra-PurQravas-Ayus - Nahusa - Yayati - Anudruhyu- 



Sutapas - Bali - Aiiga - Dadhivahana - Draviratha- 
Dharmaratha - Gitraratha - Satyaratha - Romapada- 
Caturaiiga-Prthu - Camba - Haryamga - Bhadraratha- 
Brhadratha-Brhanmanas-Jayadratha - Dhrtavrta - Satya- 
karma-Adhiratha-Karna (foster son). 
2) Foster father of Karna. Sage Durvasas had taught 
Kunti some mantras to get children, and KuntI, then 
unmarried, tested the first mantra with the Sun-god 
as her object. The Sun-god appeared before Kunti 
and from his power she conceived and duly delivered a 
child, Kama. Fearing obloquy KuntI concealed the 
child in a box and floated it on the river, Ganges. At the 
timeAdhiratha, a great comrade of Dhrtarastra came 
to the river for a bath. His wife was one grieving 
over not having a child of her own. So, when Adhiratha 
found a child in the floating box, he took it home, 
and himself and his wife Radha brought up the chile 
with pleasure. The child was named Vasusena, and 
the child grew up to become the famous _Karna and 
favourite friend of Duryodhana. (M.B. Adi Parva, 
Chapters 67 and 130; Vana Parva, Chapter 309; 
Devibhagavata, Skandha 2). 

3) Some particulars. Adhiratha was King of Anga. He 
was a Suta (charioteer) and Karna grew up as his 
son. Karna was sent to Hastinapura to be trained 
in the use' of weapons, and it was here that Duryo- 
dhana and Karna developed their friendship and 
alliance. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 147, Verse 3). 
Sri Mahadevlbhagavata, in Chapter 3 relates 
following incident : "Thus lamenting Kunti sent the 
box concealing Karna, by the nurse, to be floated m 
the river, and after bath, food etc. she spent the hours 
in the normal way within the inner apartment. Raja 
Adhiratha bathing in the river saw the box floating in 
the river". These facts prove that Adhiratha was not 
only the King of Aiiga but a good charioteer as well, 
and further a very good friend of Dhrtarastra. 
4) We come across Adhiratha on the occasion oi the 
trial of skill in the use of arms between the Kaurayas 
and the Pandavas. When Karna entered the 
the Pandavas questioned his nobility of birth. Seeing 
Kama's great humiliation and discomfiture Duryodhana 
enthroned him immediately as King of Aiiga. Vyasa, 
who witnessed the scene has given a picturesque des- 
cription of it. ... 
ADHOKSAJA. A synonym of Maha Visnu. (Kamsan- 

radhoksajah Amarakosa). 

ADHRIGU. ' A great sage (Maharsi) who lived during 
the Rgvedic period. (Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 
16, S'ukta 112). 
ADHRSYA. A river. (M.B. Bhisma Parva, Chapter y, 

Verse 24). 

ADHYAPAYANA. A disciple of the great preceptor ot 
Atharvaveda, Sumantu. He divided Atharvaveda 
into two parts and gave one to Utatthya and the other 
to Vedadarsana. (Bhagavata, Skandha 12). 

ADITI. 1) Genealogy. KaSyapa, grandson of Brahma and 
son of Marici married Aditi, daughter of Daksapraja- 
pati. Aditi had twelve sisters: Diti, Kala, Danayus, 
Danu, Sirhhika, Krodha, Prtha, Visva, Vinata, Kapila, 

' Muni and Kadru. (Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 
65, Verse 12). Devas are sons born to Kasyapa by Aditi 
and hence they are known as Aditeyas also. Kasyapa 
married all the thirteen sisters including Aditi, and 

all living beings owe their origin to them. (See Kas- 

Descendants. 33 sons were born to Aditi. 12 lofi them 
are called Dvadasadityas, viz. Dhata, Aryama Mi a, 
Sakra, Varuna, Amsa, Bhaga, Vivasvan Pusa Savita 
Tvasta and Visnu. Amongst the other 21 sons are the 
11 Rudras and 8 Vasus. (See M.B. Adi 

S5"a 6 42S l! V; "** ? r r ; 

son of Aditi. The Mahabharata and the Ramayana 
refe to a story about the birth of Mahav.sra i as the 
son of Aditi. Visnu entered the womb of Adi 
Vamana (Dwarf). This story was related by the sage 
vfsvlmitra to the boys Rama and Laksmana while 
they were accompanying the sage in the forest When 
hev entered Siddhasrama Visvamitra pointed I to _tr 
atTer "hat the Asrama was sacred because ****** 
had stayed there for long as Vamana. The D 
induced Mahavisnu to obstruct the sacrifice (yaga) 
being performed by Emperor Mahabah son 
Virocana. At that time Aditi, the wife of Kasyapa 
was doing penance so that Mahavisnu might be born 
Ts her sonf and accordingly he entered her v,omb. 
1000 years later she gave birth to Visnu, and that child 
was known as Vamana. (See Vamana; also M.B. 
Vana Park Chapter 272 Verse 62 Anusasana Parva, 
Chapter 83, Verses 25 and 26, as also Valmiki . 

2Reoti. Once Kasyapa made all arrange- 
ments to perform a sacrifice (yaga) Having faded to 
aS the suitable cow for it, he stole Varuna's cow and 
onducted the yaga. Not only that, Kasyapa refused 
to return the SS even after the yaga was over. 
Varuna in hot anger rushed to Kasyapa s hermitage. 
Ka^yapa was absent, and his wives, Aditi and Surasa 
did not treat Varuna with due respect The enraged 
Varuna cursed them to be born in Gokula He also 
complained about the matter to Brahma. Brahma told 
Syapa : "Since you, a learned person, have stolen 
S cow, may you along with your wives be born in 
Gokula and tend cows". Accordingly Kasyapa and 
Ws wives, Aditi and Surasa, were born respectively as 
Vasudeva, DevakI and RohinI in Gokula in the 28th 
Dvlpara ^ga. (This story has been told by Vyasa 
to Raja Janlmejaya). (Devibhagavata, Skandha 4 
3 Aditi in prison'. Devaki is Aditi reborn There was 
reason for DevakI being imprisoned on the orders of 
Kamsa. When Kasyapa was hvmg in an Asrama with 
Aditi and Diti he was so much pleased 
fervices of Aditi that he asked her to beg for any 
Wn she wished. Accordingly she prayed for an 
S son. The boon was readily granted and ndra 
was the son thus born to her. The birth of Indra 
dered jealousy in Diti towards Aditi, and she 
^demanded a son equal to Indra. Kasyapa obliged 
Diti also. As Diti advanced in pregnancy and her 
beauty also increased Aditi got jealous of the former 
and she called her son Indra and told him that unless 
something was done in time, Diti would deliver a 
child equal to him (Indra) thus relegating him pro- 
bably to the place of second Deva. Thus admonished 
by his mother the artful Indra approached Diti and 
told her: "Mother, I have come to serve you . I 
was greatly pleased. Indra's services drove 
sYeep very quickly, and Indra used the opportunity 



to cuter the womb of Dili and cut into 49 pieces the 
child with his weapon, the Vajra. The child in the 
womb began crying on receiving cuts with Vajra when 
Indra asked it not to cry. (Ma ruda, don't cry) and 
so the child got out of Dili's womb as 49 Marutas 
(winds). Then did Dili wake up and cursed Aditi as 
follows : "Your son did treacherously kill my 
offspring in the womb itself. So he will forfeit the 
three worlds. You were responsible for the murder of 
my child. You will, therefore, have to spend days in 
prison grieving over your children. Your children also 
will be annihilated". Because of this curse of Diti, 
Indra once lost Devaloka and had to live elsewhere, 
and Nahusa functioned, for a time as Indra. (See 
Nahusa). In the 28th Dvapara yuga Aditi trans- 
formed as DevakI had to be a captive of Kamsa, and 
Kaihsa killed her children by dashing them on the 
ground. (Devlbhagavata, Skandha 4). 

4. Narakasura stole the earrings of Aditi. Narakasura, who 
turned out to be a curse and menace to the three worlds 
consequent on the boon he got from Visnu, attacked 
Devaloka once, and carried off Indra's royal umbrella 
and Aditi's earrings. Mahavisnu incarnated himself as 
Sri Krsna, killed Narakasura in battle and got back the 
earrings etc. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 48, Verse 
80; Sabha Parva, Chapter 38, Verse 29; Bhagavata 
Dasama Skandha). 

5. Mahavisnu became seven times son to Aditi. Once, de- 
sirous of having children Aditi cooked food (rice) 
sitting herself in the entrails of Mount Mynaka (M.B. 
Aranya Parva, Chapter 135, Verse 3). Dharmaputra, 
in the course of singing the glories of Lord Krsna after 
the great war refers to Visnu having taken birth 
seven times in the womb of Aditi. (M.B. Santi Parva, 
Chapter 43, Verse 6). 

6. Budha cursed Aditi. A story in the Mahabharata 
refers to Budha's once cursing Aditi. The ever increas- 
ing power of Asuras made the Devas anxious. Aditi, 
the mother of the Devas decided to send them all to 
annihilate the Asuras. She had finished cooking food 
for her sons, and lo ! there appeared before her Budha 
and asked for food. Aditi asked him to wait pending 
her sons taking their food hoping that there would be 
some food left after that. This caused Budha to lose 
his temper and he cursed her that (Aditi) she would 
become the mother of Vivasvan in his second birth 
as Anda, when she would suffer pain in her abdomen. 
(M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 34, Verses 96-98). 

7. Former birth of Aditi. During the former years 
(period) of Svayambhuva Manu the Prajapati called 
Sutapas, along with his wife Prsni did Tapas for 
12000 years. Then Mahavisnu appeared before them, 
and Prsni prayed for a son like Visnu himself, and 
Mahavisnu was born as her son named Prsnigarbha. 
This story is related by Sri Krsna to his mother on 
his birth as the son of Vasudeva. (Bhagavata, Dasama 
Skandha, Chapter 3). 

She, who became the wife of Prajapati as Prsni before 
Svayambhuva Manu, and was born again as DevakI, 
the wife of Vasudeva is one and the same person. 

ADRA. A King of the Solar dynasty. (See Surya 
Vamsa ) . 

ADRI was a King, the son of Visvagasva and father 
of Yuvanasva. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 202, 
Verse 3). 

ADRIKA. A nymph (devastrl). There is a story in 
Devlbhagavata about her being cursed by a Brahmin 
and turned into a fish. 

ADRSTABHAYA is the curse put on King Janamejaya 
by Sarama, the dog of the Devas. While Janamejaya, 
son of Pariksit was conducting, along with his bro- 
thers, a yaga of long duration at Kuruksetra the son 
of Sarama went to the place and was thrashed by 
the brothers of Janamejaya. Seeing her weeping child 
Sarama naturally got angry. She cursed the king 
thus : "My son did not commit any offence; he did 
not even look at the havis (oblations), nor did he 
lick it. For having thrashed the innocent child you 
will experience Adrstabhaya. When the yaga was 
over Janamejaya got rid of the curse by getting sage 
Somasravas do certain proper rites. 

ADRSYANTI, wife of sage Sakti, the son of Vasistha 
and mother of sage Parasara. 

Kalmasapada, a king of the Iksvaku dynasty reached 
the hermitage of Vasistha during a hunting expedi- 
tion when Sakti, eldest of the hundred sons of 
Vasistha came walking towards him. False pride 
prevented either of them from giving way to the 
other. The King got angry and whipped Sakti. Sakti 
cursed the king and he was converted into a demon. 
This happened at a period when sages Vasistha and 
Vi^vamitra were at logger-heads. Visvamitra got 
admitted into the body of King Kalmasapada a 
demon called Kimkara, and the king set out to take 
revenge upon Sakti, the son of Vasistha. The King 
was further promised all support by Vi'svamitra. 
Kalmasapada ate up all the hundred sons of Vasistha. 
Overcome with grief Vasistha attempted suicide 
many a time. But the spirit (Atman) did not quit 
the body. Thus sunken in grief Vasistha lived in his 
hermitage with Adrsyanti, wife of Sakti. One day 
Vasistha heard distinct sounds of the chanting of 
the Vedas and Adrsyanti told him that a child of 
his son, Sakti, was developing in her womb and that 
the vedic sounds heard were sounds produced by 
that son chanting the vedic hymns. Vasistha thus 
was happy to hear that the dynasty will not become 
extinct and, so, gave up all ideas of suicide. Another 
day Kalmasapada in the guise of the demon hurriedly 
came to devour Adrsyanti and Vasistha gave him 
redemption from the curse. He was restored to his 
old state and form. Adrsyanti duly gave birth to a 
son, and the child grew up to become Parasara, 
father of Vyasa. 

While the Pandavas, in the course of their forest 
life, were passing the banks of river Ganga at midnight, 
a Gandharva named Arhgaraparna enjoying in the 
river-water clashed with Arjuna, and he was defeat- 
ed. The story of Adrsyanti is one of the many 
stories told by Arhgaraparna to the Pandavas. (M.'B. 
Adi Parva, Chapters 175-178). 


1 ) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in this order 

2) Birth. A story occurs in Uttara-Rama-Carita 
about the birth of Agastya. Nimi was the son of Iks- 
vaku of the Surya dynasty. When he ascended the 
throne he decided to celebrate a sacrifice of long 
duration. He invited Vasistha to perform the sacrifice. 
But Vasisfha, who had to participate in the sacrifice 



of Indra, could not accept the invitation and Nimi 
had to return disappointed. At this he got angry, 
sought the help of Satananda, the son of the great 
hermit Gautama and the sacrifice was begun. Vasistha 
did not like this. He cursed Nimi that life might be 
separated from his body. Nimi retorted with the same 
curse. Vasistha's spirit separated itself from his body 
and began to roam about in the sky. At last he re- 
quested Brahma to provide him with a body. Brahma 
granted his wish and said that he would be born again 
from Mitra and Varuna. 

When the spirit of Vasistha returned to the earth it 
was Mitra and Varuna moving about, having only one 
body for both. Vasistha's spirit entered into that body. 
One day Mitra-Varuna happened to see the celestial 
beauty, Urvasi on the seashore. They embraced Urvasi 
and immediately the spirit of Vasistha entered the 
body of Urvasi. 

After this Mitra and Varuna separated themselves 
from one another and assumed two different bodies. 
Varuna approached Urvasi with lustful desire, but 
rejecting him Urva:';i accepted Mitra. Varuna had 
seminal flow and this semen was taken and kept in a 
pot. At the sight of this, remorse and passion arose 
in Urvasi and the semen of Mitra already received 
in her womb oozed out and fell on the ground. This 
also was collected and kept in the same pot along with 
that of Varuna. After a few days the pot broke open 
by itself and two babies came out. One was Agastya 
and the other Vasistha. As these two were born of the 
semen of Mitra and Varuna, they came to be known 
as Maitravarunis later. This story partly occurs in Sand 
Parva of Maha'bharata, Verse 343 of Chapter 88. 

3 ) Education. Very little is mentioned in the Puranas 
about the education of Agastya. Still there are am- 
ple proofs that he was well-versed in the Vedas and 
sciences and well skilled in the uses of diverse weapons. 
In Verse 9, Chapter 139 of Mahabharata, Adi Parva, 
Drona says to Arjuna as follows: 

"Agnivesa, my teacher was the disciple of Agastya, in the 
art of using bows and arrows and I am his disciple". 
When it is said that even Agnivesa the teacher of 
Drona was a disciple of Agastya, his proficiency in the 
art of using weapons could easily be discerned. 

4) Marriage. There is an interesting story behind the 
marriage of such an austere man as Agastya, who had 
brought all the passions under control. As the hermit 
Agastya was walking along the forest, he saw his 
ancestors (Pitrs) hanging head downwards in a canyon. 
He wanted to know the reason and they replied : 
"Child; we would be allowed to enter heaven only 
if sons are born to you. So get married as soon as 
possible". The necessity of marriage occurred to him 
only then. But will there be any woman who could be 
patient enough to become the wife of this bearded 
dwarfish hermit ? Agastya did not lose heart. At that 
time the King of Vidarbha was doing penance to 
obtain a son. Agastya collected the quintessence of 
all living beings, with which he created an extre- 
mely beautiful lady and named her Lopamudra. 
Agastya gave Lopamudra as daughter to the King of 
Vidarbha. The King who was delighted at getting 
such a daughter, employed hundreds of maids to look 
after the child, who soon grew up to be a young lady. 
Agastya once approached the King of Vidarbha 

and expressed his wish to have Lopamudra as his 
wife. The King was in a dilemma. On the one hand 
he did not like his beautiful daughter having the 
brightness of fire, to be given as wife to the hermit, 
clad in the bark of trees and wearing tufts of matted 
hair. On the other hand he was afraid of the curse 
of the hermit Agastya. As the King was trying hard 
to find a solution, Lopamudra herself came to the 
King and said "Father, I am happy to say that I shall 
willingly become the wife of the hermit Agastya." At 
last her father consented and discarding royal garments 
and ornaments, Lopamudra accompanied Agastya. 
It is mentioned in Vana Parva, Chapter 130, Verse 5, 
that they were married at Mahasindhutirtha. After 
their marriage they went to Garigadvara. (Maha- 
bharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 96). 
5 ) The story of how Agastya ate Vdtdpi. While Agastya 
was doing severe penance, Lopamudra attained 
puberty and had menstruation. Longing for a child, 
she went and stood beside Agastya. She expressed 
her wish to lead a family life. Her demands did 
not stop there. During conjugation, Agastya should 
wear flower garlands and ornaments, and she must 
be provided with divine ornaments. Agastya was 
surprised at the enormity of her demands. Poor, penni- 
less Agastya ! Leaving Lopamudra in the hermitage 
he went in search of money. He at first approached 
King Srutarva, who produced accounts of his in- 
come and expenditure and convinced Agastya that 
he was having no balance at all. Agastya, accompa- 
nied by Srutarva, then proceeded to King Bradh- 
nasVa. He also produced accounts and refused to help 
Agastya, who then followed by Srutarva and Bradh- 
nasva went on to the wealthy King Trasadasyu, 
who also producing his accounts refused to render 
any help to Agastya. Finally Agastya accompanied 
by the three Kings, went to the house of Ilvala, a 
noble asura of immense wealth. 

This asura Ilvala lived in Manimatpattana with his 
younger brother Vatapi. Once Ilvala approached 
a hermit Brahmin and requested that his wish for 
a son, having the power and status of Indra, be grant- 
ed. The Brahmin refused to grant such a boon. 
Since then Ilvala and Vatapi considered Brahmins 
as their enemies. The elder brother converted the 
younger one (Vatapi) into a goat and whenever a 
Brahmin visited his house, he would kill the goat, 
prepare mutton dishes and set them before his 
guest. When he had finished eating, Ilvala would call 
aloud. "Vatapi, come out". Breaking the stomach 
of the guest open, Vatapi would come out. In this way 
Ilvala had killed a good number of Brahmins. It was 
at this juncture that Agastya and the Kings came to 
beg money of him. 

Ilvala welcomed the guests with hospitality and as 
usual killed the goat, prepared food with it and served 
the food before Agastya. When Agastya had finished 
eating, Ilvala called Vatapi loudly. But Agastya slowly 
said, "Vatapi, jirno bhava" (Let Vatapi be digested) 
and immediately Vatapi was digested in the stomach 
of Agastya. The awe-stricken asura Ilvala gave each 
Brahmin ten thousand cows and as much gold and 
to Agastya he doubled the quantity of alms. Over 
and above this, he presented Agastya with a chariot 
hitched with two fine horses called Viravan and 


Suravan. Agastya returned to his hermitage and 
adorned himself as Lopamudra had demanded. (Maha- 
bharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 99). 

6) Birth of a son. Lopamudra became pregnant. 
Agastya told her, "A thousand ordinary sons, or 
hundred sons, each having the strength of ten ordinary 
sons, or ten sons, each having the strength of hundred 
ordinary sons, or a son, greater and nobler than one 
thousand sons which of these do you prefer ?" 
Lopamudra preferred one son. When she was with 
child Agastya again went to the forest to do penance. 
After seven years of pregnancy Lopamudra gave 
birth to a lustrous son. The hermit Drdhasyu, who is 
also called Idhmavaha, is this son. This child is said 
to have chanted the Vedas (Holy Scriptures) im- 
mediately on his birth. He used to gather twigs for 
kindling the sacrificial fire of his father, and hence he 
got the name Idhmavaha.* 

7) How he stamped the Vindhya mountain down. Once the 
talebearer Narada happened to come to the Vindhya 
Mountain, who gladly welcomed Narada, gave him a 
seat, showed hospitality and asked for news. Narada said 
"May you be blessed. Just now I am coming from the 
Mahameru. Indra, Agni (fire) and other gods live 
there. Kailasa, Nisadha, Nila, Gandhamadana etc. are 
mountains far nobler than this Meru. But they are 
not so haughty as him. That the Sun and the Moon 
and such others revolve round him, is the reason for his 
arrogance". On hearing these tales, Vindhya thought 
that Meru should be taught a lesson. Once Vindhya 
made his peaks grow higher and higher till they touched 
the sky. The Sun, the Moon and others found it very 
difficult to pass over the high peaks in their usual jour- 
neys to the West, and so they had to roam about in 
the sky. When the journeys of the Sun and the Moon 
were hindered, everything in the world fell into chaos. 
The gods came to Vindhya in groups and tried to 
pacify him. But their attempts were futile. So they 
approached Agastya and made their petition to him. 
He agreed to pacify Vindhya somehow or other. Agas- 
tya and his wife came to Vindhya from Kasinagara. 
When Vindhya saw Agastya he began to shiver with 
fear. Contracting all his high peaks, he bowed before 
Agastya, who said to Vindhya thus "Vindhya, I am 
going to South Bharata. Let your heads be low till I 
come back". Vindhya agreed. Agastya passed on to 
the South and built a hermitage in the Malayacala and 
lived there. Since then Agastya had never gone to 
the North and Vindhya had never risen up. As he had 
made the mountain (Aga) bow its head he got the 
name Agastya. (Tenth Skandha of Devibhagavata). 
8) Nahusa transformed to a huge serpent by Agastya. 
Devendra killed Vrttrasura, an enemy of the gods. 
As Devendra had resorted to treachery for killing the 
enemy (see the word Vrttrasura) he incurred the sin 
of 'Brahmahatya'. Once Indra went to the Manasasaras, 
without the knowledge of anybody and hid himself in 
the petal of a lotus flower. The gods and especially 
Sacidevi were much alarmed at the disappearance of 
Devendra. Heaven was without a King. Bad omens 
began to appear. Indra, who had hidden in the lotus 
stalk in the shape of a water-snake, was not at all visible 


as the petals had closed over him. It was at this critical 
moment that King Nahusa had completed hundred 
horse-sacrifices and became eligible for the throne of 
Devendra. At a great gathering of the Gods Nahusa 
was elected as Devendra. Though Nahusa got all the 
celestial maids at his disposal in the Nandanodyana 
(Nandana Garden) his passion for women was not 
satiated. So he began to have an eye on Indrarri. She 
was in sorrow and misery at the disappearance of her 
husband Indra, and did not at all look with favour on 
this new move on the part of the new Indra. She sought 
the help of Brhaspati, who agreed to protect her 
from Nahusa. The newly-elected Indra could not tole- 
rate this disloyalty on the part of Indram. He became 
furious and threatened Brhaspati with death, if IndranI 
was not sent to him forthwith. All hermits gathered 
round Nahusa and tried with their advice to dissuade 
him from this attempt, but he would not be dissuaded. 
Nahusa belittled Brhaspati and all the hermits and was 
rude to them. Finally the hermits, being afraid of 
Nahusa, went to Brhaspati to persuade him to send 
Indram to Nahusa. Brhaspati suggested to Indram a 
way of safety. Accordingly she came to Nahusa and said 
to him "Lord, to become your wife, is a matter of great 
pleasure to me. But before that I must make sure if 
my husband is living anywhere. So allow me to make a 
search". Nahusa agreed to this and by the blessings 
of Devi, Indram found out her husband. But Indra 
would not return to the court, with Indram, who 
then complained about Nahusa's outrageous behaviour. 
Indra advised her a new way to protect herself from 
Nahusa's onslaught. 

Indram returned to Nahusa and told him "Lord, wo- 
men generally love pomp and glory. I have a mania 
for vehicles. You should make a palanquin. Let the 
palanquin bearers be hermits. You must come to my 
house in that palanquin with hermits as your palanquin 
bearers and then I will accept you as my husband." 
Nahusa agreed. He employed Agastya and such other 
hermits to bear his palanquin. He got into his palan- 
quin and started for Indrani's house. His desire to 
reach was such that he thought the hermits to 
be very slow. To make them quick enough he ordered 
"Sarpa, Sarpa" (walk quick, walk quick). The hermits 
began to run. Still Nahusa was not satisfied. He kicked 
at the heads of the hermits and whipped the dwarfish 

Agastya got angry and cursed Nahusa thus: "Since 
you have whipped me saying 'Sarpa Sarpa', may you 
be transformed into a mahasarpa (huge serpent) and 
fall into the great forest."** 

The horror-stricken Nahusa pleased Agastya by praise. 
Agastya said that Nahusa would be freed from the 
curse and attain heaven when he happened to meet 
Dharmaputra. Nahusa instantly changed into a 
serpent of immense size and slided into a great forest 
in the Himalayas. (Devibhagavata, 8th Sarga). 
During their sojourn in the forest, the Pandavas 
visited many holy places and reached the Yamuna 
mountain in the Himalayas. When Bhlma was passing 
by the mouth of a cave he was attacked by a huge 
serpent. In spite of his immense strength Bhlma could 

* Idhma twigs of firewood. (Idhma= twigs of firewood) (vaha^ carrier). 

'* It is mentioned in the Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 100, that the person who cursed Nahusa and turned him 
into a huge serpent, was the hermit Bhrgu, who had been hiding in the hair of Agastya. 



not extricate himself from the hold of the snake, who 
eventually informed Bhlma of its previous history. 
When Bhima understood that the serpent was none 
other than Nahusa, a King of the Surya dynasty 
(Solar), he felt sorry for him. Dharmaputra, who 
came there in search of Bhima, talked with Nahusa, 
who immediately regained his original form arid 
went to heaven. (Mahabharata, Chapter 17 of 
Udyoga Parva; Chapter 179 of Vana Parva; Chapter 
342 of Santi Parva). 

9) How Agastya drank up the ocean. Indra ruthlessly 
killed Vrttrasura, who had been harassing the Gods, 
with the help of the Kalakeyas. The frightened Kala- 
keyas got into the ocean and hid themselves at the 
bottom. From that hideout they decided to destroy 
the three worlds. At night they came out on the 
earth and ate a good deal of Brahmins, and caused 
much damage to the hermitages of Vasistba and 
Cyavana. All the Brahmins on the earth were terribly 
afraid of the Kalakeyas. The gods went to Visnu 
and prayed for protection. Visnu informed them that 
the Kalakeyas could not be caught unless the ocean 
was dried up, and this task could be performed only 
by Agastya. So the Gods approached Agastya and told 
him what Visnu had informed them. With pleasure 
Agastya accepted the job. Accompanied by the Gods 
and hermits he neared the swaying and surging ocean. 
While all were watching unwinkingly Agastya brought 
the great ocean into his palm and drank it up very 
easily and subsequently the Kalakeyas were killed. 
Now the Gods again approached Visnu and made 
representation about the loss of the ocean. Visnu told 
them that by the penance of Bhaglratha the divine 
Ganga would fall into the earth and then the ocean 
will be filled. In this way the earth regained its lost 
ocean. (Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapters 101 to 

10) Agastya cursing Kubera and his companion. In the 
course of their sojourn in forest, the Pandavas 
visited several holy places and reached the proximity 
of the Himalayas. Leaving his brothers behind, 
Arjuna went up the Mahameru to worship Siva. 
Years passed by. At last his brothers also started 
for the Mahameru in search of Arjuna and with 
the help of the hermits Vrsaparva and Arstisena, they 
reached Kuberapurl (the capital of Kubera). There 
Bhima destroyed the army of Kubera and killed 
Maniman, his friend and favourite. Dharmaputra, 
repenting of his younger brother's iniquity bowed 
before Kubera and asked him with politeness, why the 
power of Gods gave way to the power of man. Kubera 
replied that it was due to the curse of Agastya and 
began to depict the event thus : Once my friend 
Maniman and myself were going, in a chariot, to be 
present at the singing and chanting just begun at 
Kusavatl. At that time Agastya was standing in his 
hermitage on the bank of Kalindl, performing Sun 
worship. When Maniman saw this from the sky, he 
spat on the head of Agastya, who instantly getting wild 
cursed me. "Lo, Kubera, your friend Maniman 
spat on my head in your sight. So this Maniman and 
your army will meet with death at a man's hand. 
When they die you should not feel sorry for them. If 
it becomes possible for you to meet the man who 
killed Maniman you will be liberated from the curse." 

It is this curse that brought about the death of 
Maniman and the army. When Kubera saw Bhima 
face to face his curse was revoked. (Mahabharata, 
Vana Parva, Chapter 160). 

11) Agastya cursing Marica and Tadaka. The boys 
Rama and Laksmana went to the forest with Visva- 
mitra for protecting sacrifice. When they entered the 
Tadaka forest Visvamitra told them the story of 
Tadaka thus: 

Tadaka is the daughter of Suketu, a semi god of the 
tribe Yaksa. Being childless for a long time Suketu was 
miserable and began to do penance before Brahma, 
who blessed him and granted his wish and a daughter 
was born to him. This daughter was named Tadaka. 
Brahma blessed her, giving her the strength of one 
thousand elephants. Tadaka grew up and became a 
young woman. Suketu gave her in marriage to Sunda, 
son of Iharjha. Tadaka gave birth to a son called 
Marica. When Sunda was killed, Tadaka got wild 
and ran into the hermitage of Agastya causing much 
havoc there. At this Agastya got angry and cursed 
her to become a RaksasI (giantess) and instantly 
the bodies of Tadaka and Marica were deformed. 
Tadaka could not control her anger and she demo- 
lished the hermitage of Agastya. (Valmlki Ramayana, 

12) The story of the theft of lotus. Once Bhrgu, 
Vasistha and other- hermits went on a pilgrimage, 
with Indra as their leader. On the way they 
reached Brahmasaras, in the holy place of Kausikl. 
Agastya had grown some lotus flowers there. The 
pilgrims plucked stealthily all the lotus flowers nur- 
tured by Agastya and ate them. The furious Agastya 
got into the midst of the hermits in search of the 
culprit. None admitted the theft. Finally he caught 
hold of Indra, as the thief. Indra said "O, Lord, 
had it not been for my eagerness to hear discourses 
on duty from your face, I would not have stolen 
your lotus flowers." Saying thus Indra returned the 
lotus flowers. Agastya was pleased and let Indra 
and the hermits depart in peace. (Mahabharata, 
Anusasana Parva, Chapter 94). 

13) How Agastya burned the Asuras (demons). (This 
story occurs in the Mahabharata as, having been told 
by the God Vayu to Bhlsma as a discourse on the 
greatness of Agastya, and Bhlsma reiterating it to 

Once the Gods had to accept defeat at the hands of 
the Asuras (Demons) and they approached Agastya 
and said thus : Oh, hermit, since we have been defeat- 
ed by the Asuras, our prosperity is at an end. There 
is none to help us but you." Hearing this Agastya 
became angry and began to burn the Asuras to death, 
by the merits of his penance. Many of them fell down 
on the earth and some fell into Patala (the nether world) . 
The asuras who thus fell were not killed by Agas- 
tya. Thus the menace of the Asuras in heaven was 
warded off, and the Gods lived in peace and prosperity. 
(Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 155, Verses 
1 to 13). 

14) Indra' s conflict with Agastya. Once Agastya com- 
menced a sacrifice of twelve years' duration. Many 
hermits participated in this sacrifice. No sooner had 
the hermit begun the sacrifice, than Indra, (the God of 
Thunder and Rain) stopped rain in the world. Crops 



could not be raised. But Agastya provided everybody 
who took part in the sacrifice, with sumptuous meals. 
The hermits wondered how Agastya could do this. Some 
of the hermits feared that the sacrifice would have to be 
stopped before the stipulated time, if the drought con- 
tinued. Agastya told them not to fear, and that if 
Indra refused to send rain, he himself would become 
Indra and protect the subjects. Indra was horrified, 
when he heard this and he began to send rain regu- 
larly. (Mahabharata, As'vamedhika Parva, Chapter 


15) Story of Gajendramokfa (The redemption of an elephant) . 
In the Bharata a story occurs, as to how Agastya 
cursed King Indradyumna, and turned him to an ele- 
phant. While Indradyumna, the King of Pandya was 
absorbed in deep meditation on Visnu, Agastya reach- 
ed the palace. Being immersed in meditation the King 
failed to notice the arrival of the great hermit, who 
getting angry with the King, cursed him to become an 
elephant, for one thousand years. Instantly the King 
was deformed into a big tusker and quitting the palace 
it went to a big forest and lived there happily with the 
she-elephants there. At that time a hermit named De- 
vala was doing penance in that forest. One day Huhu, 
a gandharva (a class of semi-gods) enjoying the com- 
pany of some celestial maids came to the place where 
Devala had put up his hermitage. The hermit saw 
the Gandharva and the maids playing and bathing in 
the pond in front of his hermitage in complete nudity. 
Getting angry Devala cursed Huhu and he was de- 
formed into a crocodile. This pond which was in the 
Trikuta Mountain was thus under the suzerainty of 
the crocodile. The tusker (Indradyumna) entered the 
pond to drink water. The crocodile caught hold of the 
leg of the elephant. Each tried to pull the other with 
equal force. This fight is said to have lasted for a 
thousand years. When both were tired, godly feelings 
began to dawn in their minds. Then, riding on an 
eagle Mahavisnu appeared before them, cut them 
asunder with his Cakrayudha (the wheel-weapon) 
and both were given deliverance. (Bhagavata, 8th 
Skandha, Chapter 2). 

16) Agastya teaching Sri Rama the Aditya-hrdaya Mantra 
(A hymn in praise of the Sun). When Sri Rama was 
fighting with Havana in Lanka, dejection befell him, 
his heart being weighed down with faintness, for a 
little while. Havana made the best use of this oppor- 
tunity and began to advance. The gods had gathered 
in the sky above to witness the fight. Agastya, at that 
particular moment, taught Sri Rama the Aditya-hrdaya 
Mantra, a hymn in praise of the Sun-god and when 
Sri Rama chanted that mantra, he resumed fight with 
Vigour and Ravana was defeated and slain. (Valmiki 

Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda, Sarga 107). 

17) How the slant of the earth was rectified by seating 
Agastya. The matrimonial ceremony of Sri Parames- 
vara and Parvati was held in the Himalayas. On 
that auspicious occasion all the living beings of the 
world were present, and as a result the Himalayan 
region sank down and the earth slanted to that side. 
To keep the equilibrium of the earth, Siva sent 
Agastya to the south. Accordingly Agastya reached 
Kuttalam, where there was a temple dedicated to 
the worship of Visnu. Agastya had besmeared his 
forehead with ashes and so admission to the temple 


was denied to him, by the devotees there who were 
Vaisnavites. By his own power Agastya turned him- 
self into a vaisnavite and got into the temple, and 
immediately the image of Visnu in the temple chang- 
ed by itself into a Sivalinga (idol representing Siva). 
Since then the temple at Kuttalam has remained a 
temple of Siva. Agastya proceeded to the southern- 
most point of the earth and sat there and because of 
his weight the earth regained its normal position. 
(Skanda Purana). 

18) Agastya and the Kraunca Mountain. When Agastya 
passed the Vindhya mountain and proceeded to the 
South a Raksasa (giant) called Kraunca hindered 
his way. By his power the Raksasa caused to fall 
everywhere a very heavy rain. Agastya sprinkled a 
few drops of water from his waterpot on Kraunca, 
who instantly became a mountain. Telling him that 
he would get deliverance from the curse when the 
weapon of Subrahmanya struck him, Agastya continu- 
ed his journey to the South. (Skanda Purana.). 

19) Agastya and the River Kaveri. Once Surapadma, 
an Asura (demon) drove the Gods out from heaven. 
Indra came to Siyali a place in the district of Tanjavur 
(Tanjore) and began to do penance to please Siva. 
Rain was completely stopped. Agastya had com- 
pressed the river Kaveri and held the water in his 
waterpot. Ganapati having come to know of this, 
came in the form of a crow and toppled the water- 
pot. Agastya got angry and ran after the crow, which 
immediately assumed the form of a boy. Agastya caught 
hold of him. The boy instantly revealed himself as 
Subrahmanya and granted Agastya a boon. "Your 
waterpot will always be full". Since then there had 
never been shortage of water in the Kaveri. (Skanda 

20) Agastya in the palace of Bhadrdsva. Once Agastya 
lived in the palace of Bhadrasva as his guest for 
seven days. Agastya praised Kantimati the queen 
on several occasions. The King wanted to know the 
reason. Agastya said : During her previous birth 
Kantimati was the handmaid of a rich man. On 
one occasion of dvadasi (twelfth night after full 
moon) in the month of Tula (second half of Octo- 
ber and first half of November) the rich man had 
asked his handmaid to see that the lights in a cer- 
tain temple did not go out and she did so, in conse- 
quence of which, during her current birth she has 
become your queen, bearing the name Kantimati. 
The King and the queen were much pleased at this 
explanation of Agastya and thenceforward they 
began to observe dvadasi as a day of fasting. (Vayu 

2 1 ) Agastya cursing Urvasi, Jayanta and Narada. Once 
Agastya went to the realm of the Gods, as a guest 
of Indra. On that day a performance of dance by 
Urvasi was held in honour of Agastya. In the midst 
of the dance Urvasi's eyes fell on Jayanta and she fell 
in love with him; her steps went out of beat. Narada 
also went wrong slightly in playing on his famous 
lute called Mahatl. Agastya got angry and cursed 
Urvasi, Jayanta and Narada. According to the curse 
Jayanta became a bud. Urvasi was born in the earth 
as a woman called Madhavl and 'Mahatl' the lute of 
Narada became the lute of the people of the earth. 



22) Agastya cursing Dufpanya. Duspanya was the last 
son of the King of Pataliputra. The wicked Duspanya 
had slain a large number of babies, and the King 
therefore expelled him from the palace. Duspanya 
went into the forest, where he caught hold of the 
child of Ugraravas and killed it by putting it under 
water. Ugraravas cursed him and accordingly he fell 
into water and died and his spirit became a ghost 
and wandered about tormented with pain and 
anguish. At last the spirit approached Agastya, who 
called his disciple Sutisna and asked him to go and 
bathe in the Agni tirtha (a bath) in the Gandhama- 
dana mountain and bring some water from the tirtha 
and sprinkle it on the spirit of Duspanya. Sutisna 
acted accordingly and immediately the spirit of Dus- 
panya received divine figure and entered heaven. (Setu 

23) How Agastya got golden Bangle. Once Agastya 
entered a forest of about a hundred yojanas wide. The 
forest was devoid of life. When he had walked a few 
more steps some Gandharvas (semi-gods) and celestial 
maids came there singing and dancing. From among 
them a noble male being came forward to the bank of 
a lake in the forest and ate without any hesitation, the 
corpse of a man that was lying there. After that he 
walked round Agastya and made obeisance to him. 
Agastya asked him why he had eaten the corpse of a 
man. The noble man told Agastya thus : "In treta 
yuga (the third age) there lived a King named Vidarbha. 
I am his son and my name is Sveta. After having ruled, 
over my kingdom for a long time, I came to the bank 
of this lake and began to do penance. After that dis- 
carding my body I entered heaven. Though I attained 
heaven my hunger was not appeased. I asked Brahma 
how, I, a dweller of heaven, got this hunger. Brahma 
said that when I was King I had given nothing to any- 
body and so I got this hunger even after entering 
heaven. As a remedy Brahma suggested that I should 
come here everyday and eat corpse and when I had 
completed ten thousand days the hermit Agastya 
would come here and that when I offered him a golden 
bangle my sin would be washed away." Saying thus 
Sveta offered to Agastya the golden bangle given by 
Brahma and then he vanished and the corpse also dis- 
appeared. Sveta went to heaven. (Uttara 

24) Other informations concerning Agastya. 

(1) Agastya had a brother called Sutisna. (Agni- 
purana, Chapter 7) . 

(2) Sutisna was Agastya' s disciple too. (Setu Maha- 
tmya ) . 

(3) Ilvala and Vatapi were the sons of the giantess 
Ajarnukhi. In the valley of a mountain Ajamukhi pray- 
ed to Durvasas for love and thus Ilvala and Vatapi 
were born from Durvasas. These two sons demanded 
that Durvasas should impart to them all his merits of 
penance. Getting angry Durvasas cursed them that 
they would meet with death at the hands of Agastya. 
(Skandapurana, Asura Kanda). 

(4) Agastya had been the priest of the King Khela. 
(Rgveda, 112th Sukta). 

(5) When Sri Rama returned to Ayodhya, with Slta 
from Larika, hermits from various parts visited him, 
among whom, Dattatreya, Namuci, Pramuci, Sri 
Valmiki, Soma, Kandu, Agastya and their disciples 
were from the South. (Uttara Ramayana) . 

(6) Agastya gave Sri Rama an arrow, which, when 
shot at an asura (demon) would pierce his heart, pass 
on to the other side, fly to the sea and bathe in the 
sea-water and return to the quiver, it is said. (Uttara 

( 7) Once Agastya visited the hermitage of Apastamba. 
He asked Agastya, who, of Brahma, Visnu and Siva, 
was the Supreme deity. Agastya replied: "These three 
are only three different manifestations of the one 
supreme Being". (Brahmapurana). 

(8) For the story of how Agastya cursed the sons of 
Manibhadra and transformed them to seven palms, 
see the word 'Saptasala'. 

(9) There was a hermit called Sutisna, to whom Sri 
Rama and Laksmana paid a visit when they were 
wandering in the forest. This Sutisna is the young- 
er brother of Agastya. (See the word Sutisna). 

(10) Agastya cursed Suka and deformed him into a 
Raksasa. (See the word Suka ii.) . 

25) Conclusion. It is believed that the great hermit 
Agastya, who had performed such wonderful deeds by 
the merits of his penance, is still doing penance in the 
Agastya Kuta hills. Agastya who had travelled through- 
out the length and breadth of Bharata had several 
hermitages. In the Valmiki Ramayana, Aranyakanda, 
Sarga 11, a description is given, of a beautiful hermit- 
age of Agastya, and the peaceful atmosphere that 
prevailed in and around it. Agastya had presented to 
Sri Rama a bow got from Visnu, when the brothers 
visited his hermitage. Agastya had accompanied Sri 
Rama and his followers on his return journey to 
Ayodhya from Lanka, with Slta after killing Ravana. 
There is a legend in the Tamilnad that Agastya was a 
member of the first two 'Saiighas' (groups) of the 
"three Sanghas", mentioned in Tamil literature. As 
Agastya was dwarfish he is mentioned as Kurumuni, 
(short hermit) in Tamil works. He has written a Tamil 
grammar on music, literature and drama. But this 
work is not available now. The Tamil Grammar 
'Tolkapyam', which is considered to be the oldest gram- 
mar, was written by Tolkapyar, one of the twelve 
disciples of Agastya< Even today in certain temples in 
the Tamilnad, Agastya-worship is carried on. Kambar, 
has mentioned about Agastya in his Ramayana. A great 
Tamil author Villiputturan says that the Tamil langu- 
age is the beautiful maiden presented by Agastya. 
It is believed that the following works have been com- 
posed by Agastya: 

1) Agastya Glta ; in the Varahapurana, Pasupalopakh- 

2) Agastya Sarhhita; in Paiicaratra. 

3) Agastya Sarhhita, in the Skandapurana. 

4) Siva Sarhhita, in Bhaskara Sarhhita. 

5) Dvaidha-nirnaya Tantra. 

AGASTYA KUTA. This is the sacred mount where 
the sage, Agastya, sat and did penance during his so- 
journ in the southern parts of India. In the Kiskindha 
Kanda of Valmiki Ramayana we find King Sugrlva 
commanding that all his soldiers going in search of 
Slta should pay homage to the sage Agastya. 

AGASTYA PARVATA. This is a mountain in South 
India believed to belong to the Kalanjara mountain 
range. Agastya Kuta is in this mountain. 

AGASTYA SARAS. This is another name for Agastya 




AGASTYA-ASRAMA. The Puranas make mention of 
several asramas connected with sage Agastya. The 
Pfmdavas during their exile visited an asrama of this 
name. This is situated near Paiicavatf twentyfour miles 
to the south-east of Nasik. It is known as Agastya-giri 
now. (Sloka 20, Chapter 80; and Sloka 1, Chapter 96 
of Vana Parva, M.B.). 

The Mahfibharata mentions another Agastya-Asrama 
near Prayaga. Dharmaputra along with Saint Lomasa 
stayed here for some time. Valmlki describes an asrama 
of this name which Rama and Laksmana visited during 
their exile in the forests. (Chapter 11, Aranya Kanda 
of the Ramayana). 

AGASTYA TlRTHA. This is one of the five tirthas or 
sacred places of worship lying scattered in the southern 
ocean. The other four are the following: (1) The 
Saubhadra tirtha (2) The Pauloma tirtha (3) The 
Karandhama tirtha and (4) the Atipavana tirtha. 
These five were known as Panca tirthas and many saints 
used to live there. There lived in each of these tirthas 
one huge and fierce crocodile and all the saints living 
there, afraid of these crocodiles, deserted their places 
one by one. (Ref : Sloka 3, Chapter 220 of Adi Parva, 
M.B. For more details see under Panca tirtha) . 

AGASTYA VATA. This is a sacred shrine in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Himalayas. Arjuna paid a visit to this 
place while he was living with his brothers in the 
forests during their period of exile. (Sloka 2, Chapter 
214 of Adi Parva, M.B.). 

AGATI. A city. Two sons Taksaka and Chattraketu 
were born to Laksmana (the brother of Sri Rama) 
by his wife Urmila. The court of the eldest prince 
Taksaka was situated in the city of Agati. Formerly 
this place was known as Kanakhala and was occupied 
by forest tribes. Exterminating these forest tribes, 
Laksmana built a city there and apportioned it to his 
eldest son Taksaka. (Uttara Ramayana). 

AGHA. The name of an asura. This asura was one of 
the followers of Karhsa. According to the instructions 
of Karhsa, Agha once set out to Gokula to kill Sri 
Krsna. At that time Sri Krsna was playing on the 
banks of the river Kalindi with other cowherds. Agha- 
sura watched the games of the children from the sky 
above. Then he transformed himself into a colossal 
serpent and lay with his mouth wide open; his open 
mouth looked like an immense cave. The foul smell 
coming from his mouth soon spread over the whole 
place. Sri Krsna and the other children did not know 
anything about this. In the course of their games they 
walked into the cave-like mouth of Agha and were soon 
trapped in his belly. Agha then closed his mouth and 
all the boys including Sri Krsna were now imprisoned 
inside his body. Some of the boys died. Realizing the 
situation Sri Krsna now enlarged his body. His body 
grew larger and larger until at last it burst open the body 
of the serpent (Agha) . Thus Agha was killed. Sri Krsna 
then restored the dead boys to life by his divine looks 
(Kataksa) . This Aghasura was the brother of Bakasura 
and Putana. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10, Chapter 12). 

AGHAMARSA^A. He was a great hermit of austerity, 
who had observed the duties pertaining to Vana- 
prastha (the third of the four stages of life forest her- 
mit). (M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 244, Stanza 16). 

AGHAMARSAIV'A SOKTA. This is a hymn in the Rg- 
veda. It is said that all sins will be eliminated, if this 
hymn is recited three times, standing in water. 


AGHASVA. A King hermit (Rajarsi) named Pedu. 
(Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 17, Sukta 116). 


1) Genealogy. Agni was descended from Visnu in this 
order : Visnu-Brahma-Aiigiras-Brhaspati-Agni. 

2) Birth. We come across several contradictory state- 
ments in the Puranas regarding the birth of Agni. There 
is some real difficulty, therefore, in tracing correctly 
the true genealogy of Agni. The one given above is 
based on statements in Bhagavata and Mahabharata. 
Aiigiras is one of the six mind- born sons of Brahma.* 
Afigiras married Sraddha and got four daughters and 
two sons. Brhaspati was one of the sons and Utatthya 
was the other. The daughters were Sinivali, Kuhu, 
Raka and Anumati. (There is a mention of a third 
son named Samvarta in the Bhagavata by Eluthassan 
though the original quoted below does not say so) 

Sraddha tu angirasah patni 

Catasro ' sutakanyakah 

Sinivali Kuhu Raka 

Caturthya ' anumatistatha 


Khyatau svarocise'ntare 

Utatthyo bhagavan saksat 

BrahmisthaJca Brhaspatih. 

Brhaspati married Candramasi and got six divine sons. 
Of these Sarhyu, the eldest, married Satya and Agni 
was born to Sariiyu of Satya. ( Slokas 1 to 4, Chapter 
219, Aranya Kanda of Malayalam Mahabharata). 

3) Agni One of the Afta-dik-pdlakas. (Asia = eight, 
dik = zone, palaka = guardian ). The Devi Bhagavata 
states in its eighth chapter that Agni is one of the eight 
guards posted at the eight different zones to protect 
the universe. Indra guards the east; Agni, the south- 
east; Yama the south; Nirrti, the south-west; Varuna, 
the west; Vayu, the north-west; Kubera, the North and 
Siva, the north-east. The place where Agni sits on 
guard is known as tejovati. 

4) Agni One of the five elements. The universe is be- 
lieved to be composed of five elements of which Agni 
is one. The other four are Water, Earth, Ether and 

5 ) The story of how Agni gave a Maya Sitd ( Phantom 
Sitd) to ri Rama. During their exile in the forests 
Rama and Laksmana were for some time living in an 
asrama built on the shores of the ocean. One day 
Agni disguised as a Brahmin approached them and 
said "O, Sri Rama, thou art born to kill the demon 
Ravana and save the world from his atrocities. Sita is 
going to be a cause for that. Time is not far for you 
to finish this duty of yours. Ravana is soon to come and 
kidnap your wife, Sita. You must, therefore, allow me 
to play a trick on Ravana. Entrust Sita with me and 
I shall keep her safe. In her place here you can keep 
a Maya Sita (Phantom Sita) which will be a live rep- 
lica of your real wife. In the end when you take back 
Sita after killing Ravana you will be compelled to 
throw your wife into the fire to test her chastity. At 

*Manas=Mind. Putra=Son, Manasa-putras are sons created from the mind of Brahma, Sloka 10, Chapter 65, Adi Parva, M.B. 




that time I will take back the replica and give you 
back your real wife". Sri Rama was very much 
pleased to hear this. Agni then, by his yogic powers 
created a Phantom Sita and gave her to him. Rama 
kept this as a secret even from Laksmana. In the great 
Rama-Ravana battle Ravana was killed and Sri Rama 
took back Sita to his kingdom. Then respecting public 
opinion and wishing to establish in public the purity 
of his queen King Sri Rama put her into the fire. At 
that moment Agni took back the replica and gave 
back the real Sita to Sri Rama. Sita thus came out 
from the fire unscathed. Later, on the advice of Rama 
and Agni, the Phantom Sita went to the sacred place 
Puskara and started doing tapas (penance) there. 
After doing tapas for a long period of three lakhs of 
divine years this Phantom Sita became known as 
Svargalaksml. It was this Svargalaksml that later on 
in the Dvapara yuga came out from the yajfia kunda 
of King Pancala as Paficali and became the consort of 
the Pandavas. VedavatI, daughter of Kusadhvaja in 
Krtayuga, Sita, daughter of Janaka in the Treta yuga, 
and Pancall, daughter of Drupada in Dvapara yuga 
are one and the same person. On account of this she 
is known as trihayanl also. (Chapter 9 of Devi 

6 ) The story of how Agni got indigestion. In olden times 
there was a bold and mighty King called Svetaki. He 
conducted several different types of yajfia. Afflicted 
by the unending dense smoke in the yajna hall all the 
ascetics left the place and went their way. Undaunted 
by this, Svetaki started another twelve-year sacrifice in 
which not a single sage took part. The sages rebuked 
him and said if he wanted to conduct a sacrifice again 
he could invite sudras to help him. (Sudras belong 
to the lowest caste among Hindus and are not allow- 
ed to participate in sacrifices generally.) Enraged 
by this insult Svetaki went to Kailasa and did fierce 
penance. Lord Siva appeared before him and gave him 
Durvasas as a priest for his yajfia. For twelve years 
sage Durvasas performed the yajfia pouring into 
the mouth of Agni through the sacrificial pit un- 
limited materials of food. Agni was overfed and 
he got indigestion. He lost all appetite for food, be- 
came weak and the brilliance of his face faded. 
(Chapter 235, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

7) The story of how Agni burnt the big forest, Khandava. 
When the indigestion continued without abate for some 
time Agni approached Brahma and asked for a cure. 
Brahma declared that his indigestion would be cured 
if Agni could burn the huge forest, Khandava, the 
abode of the enemies of the Devas. Agni immediately 
started consuming the forest. But the inhabitants of the 
forest soon quenched the fire. Disappointed Agni went 
to Brahma again and the latter advised him to wait for 
some time till the advent of Nara-Narayanas to that 
forest. They would then help Agni to burn the forest. 
Agni waited for the time to come. At that time the 
Pandavas were living in Indraprastha with Sri Krsna. 
When the heat became unbearable there Arjuna and 
Krsna came to the banks of river Yamuna. Hearing 
about the arrival of Krsna and Arjuna who were none 
but the incarnations of Narayana and Nara, Agni dis- 
guised as a brahmin approached them and requested 
them to help him to burn the Khandava forest. Agni 
added that any attempt of his to burn the forest was 

always foiled by Indra who would send a heavy down- 
pour of rain to quench the fire because Taksaka, an 
intimate friend of Indra, was living there. 
To gain his end Agni gave Arjuna an arrow-case 
which would never be empty, a chariot bearing a 
monkey flag, four white horses adorned with gold 
chains and also the famous Gandlva bow. To Sri Krsna 
he gave the cakrayudha or the divine wheel-weapon. 
(All these military equipments were once given to 
Agni by Varuna. ) When all these were given to them 
Krsna and Arjuna got ready to help Agni to burn the 
forest. Agni started burning the forest, Indra at once 
sent a heavy downpour of rain and Arjuna created a 
canopy of arrows above the forest preventing the rains 
from falling on the forest. Agni carried on his work 
undisturbed, the forest was burnt and Agni was cured 
of his indigestion. (Slokas 233 to 239, Adi Parva, 

8) Agni falls in love. As an inaugural procedure to the 
great Rajasuya which Dharmaputra performed at 
Indraprastha his four brothers Bhlma, Arjuna, Nakula 
and Sahadeva conducted a victory march to the four 
different sides of the kingdom. Sahadeva who turned 
south conquered many kings including Dantavaktra 
and Bhismaka and reached a country called Mahismati- 
pura. There he had to encounter a powerful king 
called Nila. Before long there broke a fire in his camp. 
Disheartened, Sahadeva prayed to the God, Agni, for 
help. It was then that Sahadeva came to know about 
the ties between Agni and Nila. 

"King Nila had a beautiful daughter named Sudar^ana. 
Once when she was talking to her father after having 
entered the Agni-hotra Agni fell in love with her. From 
that day onwards Agni became dreamy about the 
beautiful lips of SudarSana. It reached a stage when 
Agni would burn only if it was blown by the lips of 
Sudarsana. This ended in Agni marrying Sudarsana. 
After the marriage Agni lived in the palace of his 
father-in-law, King Nila, as a useful ally. It was at this 
time that Sahadeva came to conquer Nila. But Agni 
knew that for the proper conduct of the Rajasuya of 
Dharmaputra his father-in-law had to surrender to 
Sahadeva and so advised his father-in-law to do so. 
What appeared to be a difficult problem was thus 
easily solved. (Chapter 31, Sabha Parva, M.B.) . 

9) How Emperor Sibi was tested by Agni. Once Agni and 
Indra thought of testing how strong and deep was the 
sense of charity in Emperor Sibi. Indra took the shape 
of a hawk and Agni that of a dove and the dove flew 
and dropped down into the lap of the Emperor who 
was at that time doing a yaga. The hungry hawk 
came chasing its prey and finding the dove in the lap 
of the Emperor said : "O King, is it proper on your 
part to withhold my food from me, and keep it in your 
lap ?" Hearing this Sibi replied: "This dove has sought 
refuge in me. It is my duty to give it protection. If it 
is only food you want I shall give you food." Sibi then 
offered many things including his kingdom to the 
hawk in return for the dove. But the hawk refused 
them all and finally agreed to accept an equal weight 
of flesh from the body of the Emperor. Sibi without 
any hesitation cut a portion of his thigh and weighed 
it against the dove in a scale. The dove weighed more 
and the Emperor started putting more and more flesh 
from his body to make the weight equal. But the dove 




always weighed more and at last the Emperor said he 
would weigh himself against the dove. As the weak and 
fleshless Emperor was about to get into the pan of the 
scale Agni and Indra emerged from the bodies of the 
dove and hawk and appeared before the Emperor. 
They blessed him and immediately took him to heaven. 
(Chapter 131, Vana Parva, M.B.) . 

10) Agni and the testicles of a goat. The occasion is when 
sage VisVamitra is taking Rama and Laksmana to the 
forests to give protection to the sages against the de- 
mons. They reached the place where Ahalya lay as a 
stone cursed by Gautama. Vi^vamitra told them the 
story: "It was here that the great sage, Gautama, lived 
with his beautiful consort, Ahalya. Once Indra had an 
intercourse with her privately and Gautama coming to 
know of the misdeed cursed her and turned her into 
stone. By the curse of the same sage Indra lost his 
testicles. Greatly aggrieved by this loss Indra prayed 
to god Agni for help and on the advice of Agni the 
devas removed the deformity by placing a goat's testi- 
cles instead." (Slokas 48 & 49, Bala Kanda, Valmiki 

1 1 ) How sage Bhrgu cursed Agni. Sage Bhrgu was living 
with his wife Puloma in his a'srama. Puloma became 
pregnant. One day when Bhrgu wanted to go out for 
a bath in the river he asked Agni to keep a watch over 
his pregnant wife. There was a demon by name 
Puloma who was once in love with Puloma. On this 
particular day Puloma entered the asrama to see 
his former love. When he entered the asrama Puloma 
saw Agni there burning with a brilliant flame in the 
fire-pit. Puloma said : "O God of fire, if I ask you a 
question you must give me an impartial reply. I was 
in love with this Puloma and I had accepted her as 
my wife spiritually. But, then, her father gave her to 
Bhrgu. Who, then, is the true owner of Puloma ?" 
Agni was afraid of Bhrgu. Yet he explained the posi- 
tion honestly. "It is true that Puloma has married 
Bhrgu. But he has not married her according to Hindu 
rites." Hearing this the demon changed himself into 
the shape of a swine and carried away Puloma. On 
the way Puloma delivered a male babe and it fell on 
the ground. The boy was named Cyavana. It was this 
boy that became later on the famous Cyavana Maha- 
rsi. Even at birth the boy was brilliant as the Sun 
to look at and Puloma, the demon, noticing the un- 
usual brilliance of the child left the mother and child 
on the way and fled frightened. Puloma returned to the 
asrama carrying the child weeping profusely all the 
way and creating a lanchrymal river called Vadhu- 
saras. As soon as she entered the asrama the angry 
sage asked "Who told Puloma that you are my wife ?" 
Puloma then told her husband all that happened there 
and Bhrgu called Agni and cursed him thus : "May 
you be a consumer of all things on this Earth". Great- 
ly aggrieved Agni went away and hid himself. The 
absence of Agni created chaos in all the three worlds; 
Heaven, Earth and the Nether-world. A deputation of 
all the afflicted people waited upon Brahma and 

Brahma modified the curse and declared that all that 
Agni touched would become pure. Agni was consoled 
and he started his work as usual. 

12) How Agni cursed frogs, birds and elephants. Many 
important events took place while Agni was under- 
ground cursed by Bhrgu. It was during that time that 
ParvatI cursed all the Devas and the Devas were 
defeated by the asuras (demons). The necessity of a 
warrior capable of defeating the asuras arose then. 
The idea of creating Lord Subrahmanya came up and 
Brahma said that only Agni could help them in this 
matter since Agni was the only one who escaped from 
the curse of ParvatI, being underground at the time 
of the curse. The Devas started a vigilant search but 
Agni was not to be found. Agni was then hiding inside 
the ocean. The ocean was getting hot and the animals 
living there found their life unbearable. Frogs went to 
the devas and told them where Agni was hiding. 
Enraged at this Agni cursed the frogs saying that they 
would never be able to find the taste of anything. 
Frogs went weeping to the devas who in turn blessed 
the frogs saying that they would acquire the ability to 
move about easily in any darkness. Agni changed his 
place of hiding and went and hid in a big banyan 
tree. An elephant going by that way found him out 
and informed the devas; knowing this Agni cursed 
the elephants saying that its tongue would go deep 
inside. But the devas blessed the elephants saying that 
the position of the tongue would never be a hindrance 
to free eating and that elephants would be able to eat 
anything and everything. Agni left the banyan tree 
and hid himself in the hollow of a SamI tree. A little 
bird living in that tree gave information to the devas 
and the devas found him out before he got time to 
leave the place. Agni cursed the bird saying that its 
tongue would always be curved inside and the devas 
blessed it saying that the curvature would help it to 
sing beautiful songs. Since Agni was found out from 
Sana tree this tree became sacred. Since this finding 
out of Agni after a long absence is like a re-birth of 
Agni the Puranas mention that Agni was born from 
the Saml tree. The Devas then requested Agni to help 
them to create a son capable of conquering the de- 
mons.* (Chapter 85, Anusasana Parva, M.B.) . 

13) Birth of Subrahmanya. At that time Varuna performed 
a yaga. All the dikpalakas (zone guardians of the 
universe) including Siva participated in the yaga. 
Seeing the beautiful wives of the sages Siva had emission. 
Taking the semen in his hand he put it into the fire. 
Agni carried it to Ganga and requested her to take it 
for conception. Though she at first refused she took it, 
became pregnant and finally delivered a male child 
whom she threw into the forest Saravana. It was this 
child who became known as Karttikeya or Subrah- 
manya later on. (Chapter 85, Anusasana Parva, M.B.). 

14) How Agni blessed Nala. While Nala was going to the 
wedding of Damayantl Indra, Agni, Varuna and Kala 
accosted him on his way and asked him to go as a 
messenger of theirs and advise Damayantl to marry one 

*Kathasaritsagara gives another version of why Agni went and hid himself under the ocean. When Kama, the God of Love, was 
burnt to death by Siva, Parvati, Siva's wife, did not find a way to get a child for her from her husband. At last Brahma approached Siva and 
told him that the absence of Kama was making creation difficult. Siva then declared that thereafter Kama would find a place in the minds of all 
living beings including himself. Parvati and Siva immediately commenced a sexual life which went on incessantly for a hundred years with- 
out reaching the climax. The world was agitated and the universe stood on the verge of ruin. The Devas decided to send Agni to intervene But 
Agni was afraid of Siva and so went and hid himself under the ocean. (Chapter 6, Lavanakalambaka of Kathasaritsagara) . 



of them. Nala did so but Damayanti was adamant and 
said she would marry none other than Nala. So all the 
four gods appeared as Nala in the wedding hall. 
Damayanti who was confused prayed that she should 
be shown the real Nala. The gods then changed into 
their original forms and blessed Nala. Agni said he 
would come and help him the moment he wanted him. 
Thus Nala became a good cook and Nala Pacakarii 
( Pacakarii = cooking) became famous. Even now it is a 
synonym for good cooking. (Chapter 57, Vana Parva, 

15) Agni and Rambhd. There was once a danava called 
Diiiiu. He had two sons named Rariibha and Kararh- 
bha. They had no children and tormented by this 
they went to Pancanada and started doing penance. 
Rariibha sat in the centre of Paiicagni (five fires) and 
Karariibha in water to do penance. Indra afraid of the 
severe and powerful tapas of the two took the form of 
a crocodile and killed Karariibha who was doing pe- 
nance in water by dragging him down to the water. Be- 
reaved Rariibha started to commit suicide by jumping 
into the fire. God Agni appeared before him then and 
asked him what he wanted. Rariibha then said that he 
should get a son who would be famous as a warrior in 
all the three worlds. Agni agreed. Rariibha on his way 
back saw a voluptuous she-buffalo and married her 
at yaksa kavata. They lived a happy married life and 
one day a he-buffalo envious of their life attacked 
Rariibha and killed him. Grief-stricken Rarhbha's wife 
jumped into the funeral pyre and committed suicide. 
Then from the fire arose a demon named Mahisasura 
(Mahisa = Buffalo. Asura = Demon) . This buffalo- 
demon became a terror to all in the three worlds later 
on. (Chapter 5, Devi Bhagavata). 

16) Difference of opinion between Agni and Angiras. Bhaga- 
van Aiigiras did penance in his own asrama and 
became more brilliant than Agni. The whole world 
was submerged in his brilliance. Agni felt a bit depress- 
ed at this. Agni argued that it was not proper on the 
part of Brahma to give anybody else more brilliance 
than himself. So as a protest against this Agni dis- 
appeared from the world. Even Aiigiras was annoyed at 
Agni's disappearance and so he went and consoled Agni 
and took him to Brahma. Brahma declared that hence- 
forth the world would recognize Agni as the father and 
Angiras as his son. Thus Agni got the first place in 
effulgence. This is a story told by sage Markandeya 
to Dharmaputra. (Chapter 217, Vana Parva, M.B. ). 

17) Agni and Mahdbali. On their way to the forest sage 
Visvamitra took Rama and Laksmana to Siddhasrama. 
The sage explained to the princes the importance of 
that asrama. He said: "Mahavisnu lived in this asrama 
for a number of years. It was at that time that the 
Emperor of the asuras (demons), Mahabali, son of 
Virocana, was ruling the world conquering even the 
devas. After having conquered all the three worlds 
Mahabali decided to conduct a yaga. A deputation 
of the Devas headed by Agni then waited upon Maha- 
visnu and Agni said: ''O Lord, Mahabali has com- 
menced a yaga and before it is finished you should go 
to him and do something for the benefit of the 
devas". It was at this request of Agni that Mahavisnu 
took the form of Vamana and sent Mahabali to the 
nether-world. (Chapter 29, Balakanda, Valmiki 

18) Agni and Nahusa. Repenting for his act of killing 
Vrtra Indra unknown to anybody went and hid in a 
lotus in the Manasa Saras (Lake Manasa). Perplexed 
by the disappearance of their leader the devas brought 
Nahusa from the Earth and made him their leader. 
Nahusa became very proud and arrogant of his new 
position and tried to make Indrani his wife. Indrani 
went to Brhaspati for help. Brhaspati commanded 
Agni to go and find out Indra. Agni searched for him 
in forests, rivers and oceans. At last he went to 
Manasa Saras and searched among the lotuses. There 
he found Indra hiding in a lotus and Brhaspati was 
duly informed. Then Brhaspati gave Indrani some 
clever directions to kill Nahusa and Nahusa was 
killed. (See Agastya) . There is a story in Sand Parva, 
Chapter 28, of how Agni took for himself a quarter of 
the sin which Indra acquired because of his killing 
Vrtra, a brahmin by birth. (Chapter 14, Udyoga 
Parva, M.B.). 

19) Agni Deva and Karttaviryarjuna. After the great 
Kuruksetra battle the Pandavas went again to Kuru- 
ksetra along with Sri Krsna. On their way Krsna 
showed them the Parasuramahradas and narrated to 
them several stories of Rama. Reference to Agni 
comes when Krsna explains the reason why Parasurama 
cut off the thousand hands of Karttaviryarjuna. It was 
at the time when Karttaviryarjuna was ruling the 
three worlds by his might that Agni went and asked for 
alms from him. Karttavirya gave Agni mountains and 
forests for his food which Agni burnt and ate. In one 
of the forests was the asrama of sage Apava and that 
also was burnt. Enraged at this the sage cursed Kartta- 
virya saying that his thousand hands would be cut off 
by Parasurama. Though the curse was not seriously 
minded by the King then, it so happened that before 
long Karttavirya had to encounter Parasurama in a 
battle when the children of the King stole a sacrificial 
cow belonging to Jamadagni, father of Parasurama. 
In the battle all the thousand hands of Kartta- 
viryarjuna were cut off by Parasurama. (Chapter 43, 
Santi Parva, M.B.). 

20) How Agni was duped. Once the wives of the Sapta- 
rsis (seven Saints) attended a yaga where Agni was 
also present. Agni fell in love with them but knowing 
it to be futile to make any attempt to fulfil his desire 
he went to the forests dejected. Svahadevi, daughter of 
Daksa was for a long time craving to marry Agni and 
she decided to take advantage of the opportunity thus 
offered. Disguising herself as the wife of Angiras, one 
of the seven saints, she approached Agni and said : "O 
Lord, I am Siva, wife of Angiras. We were all excited 
when you darted cupids' arrows against us and they 
have now selected me to come to you for fulfilling your 
desire". Agni believed her and took her as his consort. 
(Chapters 223 to 227 of Vana Parva, M.B.). 

21) How Agni became a doctor. There was once a sage 
called Dattatreya who had a son called Nimi. Nimi 
had a son and he died after thousand years. The 
bereaved sage performed a Sraddha which was attend- 
ed by all devas. The feast was so sumptuous that the 
devas got indigestion after that. Consulting Brahma 
Agni prescribed a remedy for their indigestion. He said: 
"whenever you take any food make me also a partici- 
pant in that. If you do so you will never get indiges- 
tion". That is why a very small portion of any cooked 




food is first thrown into the fire before given for eat- 
ing. This story is part of Bhisma's oration to Dharma- 
pntra on the origin of Sriiddha (The ceremony con- 
ducted on the anniversary of the death of a person by 
his son). (Chapter 92, Anusasana Parva, M.B. ). 

22) How Agni became a horse. There was once a precep- 
tor named Aveda. He got a disciple named Uttanga. 
One day Aveda left his asrama for a distant place 
leaving his disciple in charge of the management of the 
asrama. The preceptor was absent fora longtime and 
his wife started making love to Uttaiiga. The dutiful 
disciple strongly objected to this. When Uttanga com- 
pleted his course of study under Aveda he enquired 
what he should give to his preceptor. The preceptor 
directed him to his wife. The wife who bore a grudge 
against Uttanga resolved to tease him and said that 
he should go to King Pausya and beg of him the 
earrings worn by his wife. Uttanga started immediately 
and getting the earrings was coming back when on 
the way Taksaka wrested the ornament from him and 
went and hid in the nether-world. Uttanga followed 
Taksaka and there Agni in the form of a horse appear- 
ed before him and asked Uttanga what he wanted. 
He replied that he wanted to subdue all the serpents in 
the nether-world. Agni then advised him to blow thro' 
the nostrils of the horse. As he did so flames burst forth 
from all the openings of the horse making the nether- 
world hot and smoky. Taksaka was frightened and he 
at once gave back the earrings to Uttaiiga. Uttanga 
was again worried for he had very little time to carry the 
earrings to the preceptor in time. Here again Agni helped 
him by carrying him swiftly on his back to the asrama. 
When the preceptor and his wife found that Uttanga 
had carried out their wish they blessed him. (Chapter 
3, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

23) Agni becomes a messenger. Once there arose a mis- 
understanding between Brhaspati and Sarhvarttaka, 
sons of Angiras. Brhaspati went to devaloka as priest 
while the other remained in the world as a mad saint. 
At that time a King called Marutta invited Brhaspati to 
officiate as priest for a yajna of his. But Brhaspati 
refused to accept it. Narada saw Marutta in despair 
and told him thus: "You go to Kasi (Benares) and 
there at Puradvara place a dead body and wait there. 
Sariivarttaka, Brhaspati's brother will come and repri- 
mand you. Without minding his scoldings follow him 
and request him to become the chief priest for your 
yaga. He will then ask you who advised you to do 
like this. Tell him that Narada did so and if he asks 
where he could find Narada do tell him that Narada 
is hiding inside Agni". Hearing this Marutta went to 
Kasi and did all as directed. Sarhvartta agreed to be- 
come the priest but wanted Marutta to bring some gold 
from Kailasa before that. Marutta brought that also 
and the yajna started. Brhaspati when he came to know 
of all these developments became sorry for his refusal 
first and decided to become the priest of Marutta for his 
yaga. It was Agni who carried this message of consent 
to King Marutta. Thus Marutta's yajna was performed 
in a grand way. (Chapter 9, Asvamedha Parva, M.B.) . 

24) Agni takes back the Gandiva. At the time of 
Khandaya dahana (burning of Khandava forest) Agni 
gave Arjuna the famous Gandiva bow which Varuna 
had given him. After the great Mahabharata battle 
Agni took back this bow from Arjuna. The Pandavas 

at the fag end of their life started on a pilgrimage to 
the south with their consort Pancali. Marching along 
slowly they reached the shores of Aruna Samudra 
(Aruna Ocean) . Arjuna had with him then the Gandiva 
and also the arrow-case which never becomes empty. 
When they reached the shores of the ocean Agni blocked 
their way standing before them in the form of a huge 
mountain and said, "O Arjuna I am god Agni. It was I 
who gave this famous Gandiva bow to you. The bow 
belongs to Varuna. So please throw it into the ocean 
and proceed on your way". On hearing this Arjuna 
threw both the bow and the arrow-case into the ocean 
and continued the march. (Slokas 33 to 43, Chapter 
1, Mahaprasthanika Parva, M.B. ). 
25) Additional information about Agni, the God of fire. 

1) SvahadevI, wife of Agni, gave birth to three sons, 
named Daksinam, Garhapatyam and Ahavaniyam. 
(Chapter 9, Devi Bhagavata) . 

2) Agni, the God of fire, got three sons by his wife 
SvahadevI named Piivaka, Pavamana and Suci. These 
three sons had all together fortyfive sons. These forty- 
five grandsons, three sons and Agni himself constitute 
the fortynine Fires mentioned in the puranas (Ahgira- 

3) Nila, the monkey, is born of Agni. (Sarga 41, 
Chapter Kiskiiidha, Ramayana). 

4) Dhrstadyumna, the great archer, was born of Agni. 
(Sloka 126, Chapter 67, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

5) Subrahmanya was born as the son of Agni. (Chapter 
225, Vana Parva, M.B.) . 

6) Agni, the God of fire, loved all prajapatis like his 
sons. (Chapter 85, Anusasana Parva, M.B.). 

7) The sage, Bhrgu, was born from Agni. (Sloka 8, 
Chapter 5, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

8) All Devatas are Agni himself. (Sloka 109, Chapter 85, 
Anusasana Parva, M.B.) . 

9) God Agni loved God Skanda more than anybody 
else. (Chapter 226, Vana Parva, M.B.). 

10) At the time when Sri Rama after killing Ravana 
was putting Slta to a purity test by throwing her into the 

, fire, Agni witnessed that Slta had done no wrong and 
was pure and chaste as before. (Sloka 28, Chapter 201, 
Vana Parva, M.B.) . 

11) In the beginning Brahma created the universe. 
There was no death then and the Earth became over- 
crowded. Brahma got worried and he sent fire from his 
body to burn all beings. The world was on the verge 
of extinction when Lord Siva intervened and requested 
Brahma to withdraw Agni and create the god of Death. 
( Chapter 52, Drona Parva. M.B.). 

12) Agni is one of the Asfa Vasus which are eight in 
number. The others are : Apa, Dhruva, Soma, Dharma, 
Anila, Pratyusa and Prabhasa. (Chapter 15, Visnu 

13) Suci, son of Agni, born of SvahadevI is Badavagni 
himself. (Chapter 20, Agni Purana). 

14) The God, Agni, uses a spear as his weapon and 
the vehicle he uses is a goat. (Chapter 51, Agni Purana). 

15) The sage, Agastya, converted the Visnu idol at the 
Kuttalam temple into one of Siva and when people 
around started an agitation Agastya sent forth flames 
of fire through his eyes. (Asura Kanda of Skanda 

16) Agni was born to Pururavas as a son named Jata- 
vedas. (Chapter 14, Navama Skandha of Bhagavata). 




17) The Devas wanted help to clean their hands when 
oblated materials stuck to their hands and Agni creat- 
ed from water three sons named Ekata, Dvita and 
Trita for this purpose. Of these Trita fell into a well 
while drawing water. Seeing him fall the demons 
closed the well but Trita broke the top and came out. 
(Sukta 52, Anuvaka 10, Mandala 1 of Rgveda). 

18) Once the earth looked like heaven because of the 
innumerable celestial beings who came to earth in search 
of Agni. (Sukta 65, Anuvaka 12, Mandala 1 of Rg- 
veda) . 

19) The Sun hands over his effulgence to Agni in the 
evening and takes it back from him in the morning. (A 
fact from Sruti Sukta 71, Anuvaka 12, Mandala 1 of 
Rgveda) . 

20) For making fire for the sacrificial ceremony the 
sages use two Arani sticks (These are two pieces of wood, 
one upper and another lower, and fire is produced by 
attrition) . It is believed that the sages get the strength 
to produce fire from it through Vyana, one of the forms 
ofVayu (air). So Rgveda describes Agni as the son of 
Vayu. (Sukta 112/Anuvaka 16, Mandala 1). 

21) In the times of the Rgveda Agni was worshipped 
as a God. (Sukta 1, Anuvaka 1, Mandala 1, Rgveda). 

22) Lord Siva entered into an elaborate and long 
conjugal play for creating Subrahmanya. Hundred 
years went by and still the preliminaries never ended. 
The universe was on the verge of a collapse and so 
the devas decided to send Agni to put a stop to this 
libidinal play of Siva. But Agni was afraid of Siva and 
therefore absconded and hid himself in the ocean. The 
ocean became hot and the water-animals unable to 
bear the increasing heat went and informed the devas of 
Agni's hiding place. Agni cursed them all saying that all 
of them would go dumb. He then went to the Mandara 
mountain in the shape of an owl and hid there. But the 
devas went there also and picked him up. Agni then by 
his terrible heat stimulated Siva into action. Siva 
threw his semen into Agni andT Agni poured it into 
Gaiiga and Ganga delivered a child which later on be- 
came Subrahmanya. (Tarariga 6, Lavanakalambaka 
of Kathasaritsagara) . 

26) Conclusion. Agni stands next to Indra in impor- 
tance in the Vedas. Because Agni was indispensable for 
yagas the care of Agni became very important. Accord- 
ing to the Rgveda the birth of Agni is different. Born 
of the clouds Agni reaches the earth as lightning. Then 
Agni forsakes its form and becomes invisible. It was 
Matarisva who gave form to Agni and gave him to the 
Bhrgu family. From that day onwards it became 
possible to produce fire and the Rgveda describes how 
Agni is produced by sages by the use of Arani sticks. 
The main job of Agni is to receive the oblations from 
devas when they conduct yagas. 

27) Synonyms of Agni. 

Agnirvaisvanaro' Vahnih 
Vitihotro Dhananjayah 
Krpi tayonir j valano 
Barhissusma Krsnavartma 
Sociskesah Usarbhudhah 
Asrayaso Brhadbhanuh 
Krsanuh Pavako'nalah 
Rohitasvo Vayusakhah 

Hiranyaretah hutabhuk 
Dahano Havyavahanah 
Saptarcirdamunah Sukra- 
Badavo Badavanalah 
Vahnerdvayorj val akila- 
Varcirhetih sikha striyam 
Trisu sphuliiigognikanah 
Ksantapah Sajvarah samau 
Ulkasyannirgata jvala 
Bhutir Bhasita Bhasmam 
Ksaro raksa. ca davastu 
Davo vanahutasanah. 

The synonyms: 

1) Agni, Vaisvanarah, Vahnih, Vitihotra, Dhanafijaya, 
Krpitayoni, Jvalana, Jatavedas, Tanunapat, Barhis, 
Susma, Krsnavartma, Sociskesa, Usarbhudha, Asra- 
yasa, Brhadbhanu, KpSanu, Pavaka, Anala, Rohitasva, 
Vayusakha, Sikhavan, Asusuksani, Hiranyaretas, Huta- 
bhuk, Banana, Havyavahana, Saptarcis, Damuna, 
Sukra, Citrabhanu, Vibhavasu, Suci, Appitta. 

2) Badavagni : Aurva, Badava, Badavanala. 

3) Agnijvala: Jvala, Kila, Arcis, Heti, Sikha. (Flame) 

4) Sparks : Sphuliriga, Agnikana. 

5) Heat : Santapa, Sajvara. 

6) Firebrand : Ulka. 

7) Ashes: Bhuti, Bhasita, Bhasma, Ksara, Raksa. 

8) Wild-fire : Dava, Dava, Vanahutasana. 
AGNIBAHU. A son of the first Manu. 
AGNIDATTA. See under the word Devadatta. 
AGNIDHARA TIRTHA. This is the name of a sacred 

place near Gautamavana. (See Sloka 146, Chapter 84, 
Vana Parva, M.B.) . 

1. Genealogy. Descended from Visnu thus : Visnu- 
Brahma-Marici-Kasyapa- Vivasvan - Vaivasvatamanu- 

2. Birth. Priyavrata, son of Vaivasvatamanu, married 
Barhismati, daughter of Visvakarma. Agnldhra was one 
of their ten sons. The other nine sons were : Idhma- 
jihva, Yajnabahu, Mahavlra, Hiranyaretas, Ghrta- 
prstha, Sava, Medhatithi, Vitihotra and Kavi. A 
daughter also was born to Priyavrata and Barhismati 
named Orjjasvatl. Sukra married her and Devayam 
was their daughter. 

3) Married life. Agnldhra married a nymph named 
Purvacitti. They had nine children : Nabhi, Kirh- 
purusa, Hari, Ilavrata, Ramyaka, Hirancaya, Kuru, 
Bhadrasva, and Ketumala. It was from this Kuru that 
the Kuru Varhsa began. 

4) Other incidents. (1) Agnldhra ruled over Jambu- 
dvipa for a long time. (Devi Bhagavata, SkandhaS). 

(2) While he was the ruler of Jambudvlpa Agnldhra 
once went into a cave and did hard tapas there with- 
out eating any food. Brahma then sent a beautiful 
nymph (Apsara maiden) to him to tempt him and 
thwart his tapas. Agnldhra fell a victim to the tempta- 
tion. His penance was shaken by that nymph named 
Vipracitti. He married her. (Bhagavata, Skandha 5, 
Chapter 2). 

AGNIHOTRA(M). This is a sacrifice offered to Agni- 
deva. This has two parts, nitya and Kamya. 


\ti\ A demon (R&ksasa) who was a clOM 

.,,1 .,,,,1 ,,|. r .n. i .,1 K.iv.nui K.iin.i kill.d liiin in 
,|,, ,| In , ballle willi Havana. 

\i.Mki\i \K \ \n . puhei ..i i Subrahmanya, 

AUMI.OlsV 0,,e ol Ilir devalokas situated oil Ihe 

lummit oi Mount M.ili.uiK-m. The.-- .or .. Fev .>ih--r 

,1, \.ilokas on ill. .inn inouniam. Tin \ kit : I i"l I 

lok.i. Yamaloka, Sivaloka or, Saiyaloka and 
Devi I '.I i 

\i ,\l \l \\ Name ol ODQ Aimi. 

ACMMI I K \ I h, lui ..... K.ihde,.'. I'l.iy, Mala 

vika.'Min.ina. Mi- u... a Muf, "I ill-- Sum-,.! dvn 
and Ilir son ..I I'nssanniia. Kfilidasa' pla) d.-.ils with 

il,, ,,,.,,, i ., .,- ,i Malavika and ALMiiimna. 

\i.\l\IUKII \ \n Va.ra. 

| i ||,. ,1. ,1 I. oi, i \ i .nil in tins 

Oltlei x . ,,, Hi. ilnn. i -M.iii. i- Kasyapa -Smapadma- 

Until. Surap.idm.'. married Maya's daughter and 

Aniinuukli.i was I' n 1 " as their son. In ilu- li.uil. IH-I 
WITH ill. .1 .1 .n-,d ill-' latter ueie d- I aled .in-1 
,,,.,,! ||,, m ought li.'ll' i ni I' |,lhe IHW.T world) . 
ls.i-.\apa m.niied his danv.hlcr. Sin. r. i. Tliev li.i.l \X 

children ; the] wew : Surapadma, Smiink.i. Sunii., 

v.ikir.i. r.n.iUasilia, Comnkli.i. .ind Aj.mmkhi. Suia- 

padiu.i in. ii i H -d Maya's daughter. Agnimukhl wai <>m- 
ol' tin -n lour sons, llic oilier llucc beim; ithann ;,>|,,i, 
\ .. H. il>. dm .ind Ilirama. iSk.nula I'niana, Asura- 
In llu- Sk.ind.i I'm. in. i 111, -iv i, .1 vi\id descrip- 
ti-iii of lh<' v.di.inl \v.i\ in \vliii-li .\:',iiiiiinkli 
in III.- bank- between tin- dcv. is .in.l .r HI., 
\(.\ll'\. Sou ol a llrahniin n. nil. -d V'.d.inidlii. On 6 
IIM g.iudli.iiN.i in .o.l, us n.inu-d I'ramodiiii, Sir .d.i. 
Susv.ira, Snl n. i .ind C.uulriku I'rll in 1-ivr with him 
.nul ii-ipu-st.-il him to marry tlu-m. Ucin^ a strict 

Hi. ilnn n .111:1 V,m|>.i Was olli-udi-d li\ lliis ic.|n.-sl .nul 
soli, ciii Mil il in .ind linncd tin-in into lirnds. Veda-' 
iiidln |>ili. d tin -in and souidn ill.- a.K tee l iag l.iua:..i 
as to hou ili.iM- iinlorlunati- maidens could In- ivd-vnit d 
lioiu ilu- curMi \.i-ording to I ad\ i. - the 

li\, in. lid, us li.itheil in llu- I'oK lake ol l'i a\ .i|;alirlha 
Hlld regained their .ni;; i'orins. Then .ilieyin-; llic 
inslnu lions -,l sai--e l.oiu.isa Ai;nipa married all these 
h\e j'.indh.nx.i maidens. (Chapters I'2H and 129, 
Ull.ii ikh.i ,l.i. r.ulin.i I'm. in. 0. 

AGNIPRAVBSAfM). Batenng iin-- in the Ynddh.i- 

k.nul.i ol the K.nn.u i.ia, \ .ilmiki has deserihed Sit.Vs 
eui, rin.n and standinii; in lire (Agnipravelam) as a 
ie-,i ol hei purity. Though R.nn.i recovered Sita I'roui 
R.i\aiia. he \\anted to accept her as his wile only alter 
her pm it\ had lieen I, .ted and proved,. So In-decided to 
h-si her 1>\ lue l v - Ivs.ina). Sil.i shed tears at th<- 

ilionxhl thai her luisliand donliled her .h.isin\. 
Laksmana. ai Kama's hiddi; le a pyre. SH.I 

jumped into il alter | ,-.i\ iu>-, to die gods. She remained 
me., orehed liy the lire .Mid Rftma gladly received her 
on, e more as his \\ il'c. 


. Atacredplace(Pur>y 

011 the banks of llic river Narmada. Main scholars 
idenuK this uith the pl.t,,- MahcSvaram. (Sloka i'.. 
( h.ipter I i, Annsas.ui.i 1'arva, M.B.) . 

l'l K U \ M 

I Gfiifinl infoiniiitioii. This is one ol the eighteen 
I'm. in. i. a-eiilud U> Vyftsa. It is believed that this 
Pnrana \ iall\ SMVCII oi.illx ,asad\iee) by .\mii- 


di-v.i to many lagCI, -lev.i . and Saj;e Vasisjlia. It is a 

VU( e pn-li, n-.ive \vorkili.ihii", \\ilh , ver\- subject of 

inip-ii Ian- e. To ;M\e a i ,-p\ ol [his book lo a good 
Ilialimin on ilu I nil Moon day in the month of 
Mai:;.- Sirsa is suppo-.i-d lo be a hi;;hly \-irluous and 
in, i ilorious d, . ,1 

2) Cunlnih. Tin-, large I'm.ii.ia consists ol' about 420 

chapters, h -I, .il. in with ihe following subjects: 

The Datfvatirai ol .\l.ih.i\iM.m ; K.'n ; Mah.i- 

bhaiaia; i nl, -. and iiijunelions re la I int.; lo the worship ol 

various godi (devapQj&vidhis) ; in.'.t.illaiion of idols in 

temples (devat&pratlltha); S\ ; aslrol.. 
an liileeliire and s- iilplnn- ; Aynrv.di ; \i: .n.l\.i 
(treatment ol poison'; li-om Snak, iiiie ,-le.) ; ihe princi- 
ples of die drama ( and ol her allied arls ; 

'i ipeei Ii and .ill alaml. MM . m general ; and 

phy.siolony of the human bodv. All these 
trealed in a detailed and ifi inner. 

AGNll'UK^A. A KiiiK of ihe Solar dynasty (Surya- 
\ .'lii-'.al . 

I i ' .\;;nipm n.i \vas d.-s, ended liom N'isnu 

in the lollouin : lirahm.t - Mariei - Rasyapa- 

Vivasvan - VaiVASVatamanU Iksvaku-Yikuksi - Sas.ida- 
l'ui.iii|: i K iknlsih.i. \iunas - lYlliiil.V'.van-l'ra.sen.ijil- 
Yuvaniivan - Mandliala - I'uriikuisa - 'J'ra.sadasyu- 

Anaranya - AryaivS Vt umanas-Sutanva-Traiyyaru^a- 

Sai\ a\ raia - Tri-'..n'iku I l.i;-r'.e.iudra -\ a- 1 larila- 
(lurtcil- Snd,-\ a-lih.n nka-H.ihuka - Sa , .in.nijas- 

Aiiisimi in I )il!|> i l!li.i".iraih,i Srul .iii.:da-Sindlind\ ipa- 
Ayulayus-Riupai na - Sar\'.ikam.i - Milra- 
s.ikha-Kahn.i Lp&ds A-'mak.i - Mfdaka-Kh > 
l)ii-.-,li.<b.iliii K.ndin \ja - I) i-'.aralh.i -Sri Ram. . 
Adili-Nisadha-Nahhas-l'iindanka-K.:.;, -madhauv.-. -I '. 
lllka - K ksa - I'.n'ix .Ura - U ilaA'nui . -h.i- 

Kli.iH.ina - N'idhrii - 1 liraiu an ibha - I'usya- Dhriiva - 
Sudaiiana - Agnipurna. A^nipurna had l\\-o deseen- Sij;lira and Maru and with ihein th. 
\ .nil- a came lo aj^ end. 

ACNISAMUHAN A. A Ki,,- ofthe Solar dynaity. 

(.'<-/(,-<j/i).i.M-. \'isnu-l5rahm.. M.nui Is i- yapa-N - 

Vaivasvatamanu - Iksvaku - Niini-Janaka - Nan-b. 

dliaiia-Snkeln l>e\. iiai.' Hrhaddhria - Mah.ivira-1 )hrti- 
Ki-ln-I l.n\ as\a Ni.n n-l'iatisN aka - Kraluralha - 1>. \.< 
midlia-\'idhrta-Mah.idhrti-Krliraia-Mah.i:oni i-S\arna- 
romaprastharoma Snad!i\aja - Knrndluaja - Dliarma- 
dhvaja - 1st ladhx aja - Sakr id\ umna-Suci- 
N'anadhvaja - Urjjakclu - Aja-Kunijit - Arislaiiemi- 
Krtayils-Supru-;vaka-(;iii-ar.uha-K.sem.ipi - I lomaialha- 

Satyaratha-Gurunandana-Upagupu \-Miis.n i>l>l, 

There au- no oilier rel'eivnees to this Isini; ol' the S ilar 
dynaslN in the I'm-'mas. 

\IINISAR\I A. (Sec ihe won! \ IDYUDDYOTA) . 
AdNlSIKHA. Father of Varanu i. He is also known by 
the name Somad.uta. (Kathisaritslgara-Kath&pltha- 

lambaka-l' I. See also llie wotd (U^' \\'AI< \' 
(\ONlSlRATlRTOA, A holy place on liu- plains ofthe 

river, N'amuna. At ;jmi;.'s brolher, Sahade\a, pcrlonni-il 

i \.i '..i .11 I In; plaee. , M.l> . X'ana I'arva, ChaptCl 90). 
\t;.MSOMA. A deity born of the imii>ii ol' two devas, 

Aj;iiideva and Somadeva. lie is one ol' the .lev. is who 

receive the havis (oblations) poured into the sacrificial 

lire in a homa. 
AGNISOMA(S). A>j;ni and Soina. Ai;ni had Iwo sons 

by llis third wile Hhanu ^aN > , ailed Nisal. They were 



Agni and Soma. These two sons were collectively called 

AGNlSAUCA(M), A cloak witli magical propertied 
given lo .Nala by ilic serpent, Karko(aka. After .separat- 
ing himself from Damayanti, Nala was wandering in 
the lorrsl. Then he was bitten by (lie poisonous serpcnl, 
Karkolaka. 'I hi- deformed Nala beyond rec ognil ion. 
'I'lien ihe lerpenl r-ave him this shawl (Agnisaura) . 
Anyliody who wore thai clo;'k would regain his original 
lot in and colour. I Ka I ha 1 , at i l>..vai a-Alankaravali-lain- 
baka-Taranga 6). 

AGNI8THALI. (See the word PURtJRAVAS), 

A(;,\TSTIIAMBilA(M) A mantra (hat will reduce 

ihe burning powi I of Agni. 



\) Genealogy, \ > .< > ndcd from Vi$nu in this order: 
Vi:;nn-Svayambhuvamanu - Uttanapada-Dhruva-Srsti- 

2) Ilirth. '1'en good sons were born to Manu by his wife, 
Nadvala a-id Agnistu was one of them. The otln r nine 
sons were: Oru, Puru, Satadyumna, Tapasvi, Satyavak, 
Kavi, Aliratra, Sudyumna and Atimanyu. (Agni 
Purana, Chapter 18) . 

AGNISVATTA. One of the seven Pi trs. 'lln other six 
Pitrs arc : Vairaja, Garhapatya, Somapa, Eka6rga, 
Caturveda and Kala. (M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 1 1 , 
Verses 44, 45 and 46). 

AGNIVKSA. A Sage. He was the preceptor of Drona 
and Drupada. It is believed that he learned archery 
and the military arts from Sage Agastya. Drona had 
the greatest respect for this guru, Agnivcia. He 
was a master in the use of all weapons. There are refer- 
ences to this in Chapter 139, Adi Parva of the Maha- 

AGRAHA. The name of an Agni, a son of the Agni 
named lilianu. Bhanu married Supraja, daughter of 
the sun and Agraha was one of the six children born to 
them. In the Caturmasikayajfia Agraha receives eight 
kinds of havis (Oblations) . ( M.B., Vana Parva, 
Chapter 221). 

AGRAfcJI. The name of an Agni. He was the fifth son 
of the Agni named Bhanu and his wife, Nisadevi. 
(M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 221,Slokas 15 to 22). 

AGRASANDHANl. The name of the book which Yama 
'the God of Death Kala) keeps in which all the 
virtuous and sinful actions of men arc recorded. 

AGRAYAtfl. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. He 
is also known by the name, Anuyayl. (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 116, Verse 11). 

AHA I. One of the astavasus. His father was Dharma 
and mother, Ratidcvi. (M.B., Adi Parva, Slokas 1 7 to 
20, Chapter 66). 

AHA II (AIIAIJ). A sacred pond. If one bathes in it he 
will go to the land of the Sun. (M.B., Vana Parva, 
Sloka 100, Chapter 83). 

AHA III. One born of the dynasty of demons (asura- 
vamSa). (Sec under Heti, the genealogy chart of the 
demon dynasty). 

AHARA. A son born of Danu to Kasyapa. (M.B., Adi 
Parva, Sloka 25, Chapter 65). 

AHALYA. Turned into stone by the curse of her hus- 
band, Gautama. Ahalya was a princess of the Puru 

1) Genealogy. Descended in order Iroin Vi:.:nu a:, follows: 
Krahma-Atri-Candia-Kiidha - I'm uravas-Ayns-Nah' 
Yayati-Purn-.Janam< jya - IVarinva I'lavira-iNaniasyn- 
Vllabhaya - Sundu - Uahuvidha - Sam/. Hi - Kahovadi- 
Kaudra^ - Dufyantfl Kli.irata- 
Arka-Bharinya''.va-r,iin ala-Mudgala- Ahalya. 

2) How Ahalya got a curse and became a ttotie. The ;,ioiy 
of how Ahalya was cursed by her, <ianlania, 
and was Inrned inlo a ftOtie i:. lolil in dild M Q( 
in (lilli-renl |.ui.ina',. 'I he Inflowing is ihe veision in llie 
Valrnlki Ramayana. When Vi:',vainilia wa:, lal n ;, bai I. 
Rama and l.aksinai.ia liom ih, fore* lo ihe pala- . l 
Janaka they came across an .TSrarna on (heir way. Giving 
delails about that asraina Vi:'.vainilra lold lh> |irmce 
thus : "This is ihe ai'rarnawhere the sage, Gautama, was 
living with his wile, Ahalyfi. Indra fell in love with the 
beautiful Ahalya and while the sage wa:. OUI lor bathing 
Indra entered tl. la in (In I ol the sage 

himself and took bed with her. But before Indra could 
get out Gautama himself came to tin a::/ama arid en- 
raged at what he saw, cursed them both. India w. 
lose his testicles and Ahalya was to turn inlo a stone. 
But taking pity on her the sage declared that she would 
take her original form the moment Rama of trcta yuga 
came to that place and touched the MOD. by hi , foot. 
Testiclclcss Indra went to devaloka and there his friends 
feeling sorry for him, substituted a goat's testicle and 
got him to normal." While VirfvSmitra was talking to 
the princes, Sri Rama's foot touched the stone and Ahalya 
stood up in all beauty. Ahalya and Gautama lived in 
the same asrama again for another long period. 
In Kathasaritsagara this story is told in a slightly diffe- 
rent yet more interesting way. As soon as Gautama 
entered the asrama Indra turned himself into- a cat. 
Angrily the sage fjue;,tioned Ahalya, "who was standing 
here when I came in ':'" Ahalya replied, "M.'.o ihiyo khu 
majjara" (Ksah sthitah khalu marjjarah). It was a cat 
which was standing there. Here Ahalya used a pun on 
the word 'majjara' and tried lo be 'Majjara' is 
the Prakrit form of the word 'marjjarah' which means cat. 
But 'majjara' has another meaning also, (ma mine 
jara- lover i.e. majjara -my lover). So Ahalya did not 
lie to her husband. (Kathasaritsagara, Lavanakalam- 

3) How Ahalya happened to bring u/j Ihe mighty monkeys, Bali 
and Sugriva. Once Aruna, the charioteer of SQrya (the 
Sun) went to devaloka to sec the dance of the celestial 
maidens there. Since there was no admission to the <!: 
for men Aruna disguised himself as Amu 
admission; seeing the beautiful form of ArunidevI Indra 
fell in love with her and that night a child was born to 
Indra by her. On the advice of Indra ArunidevI took the 
child to Ahalya before daybreak and left it there to be 
looked after by her. It was this child which later on 
became the famous Bali. 

Aruna went a bit late that morning to his master, the 
Sun. The latter wanted an explanation and Aruna told 
him what had happened. The Sun then asked Aruna to 
become ArunidevI again and seeing ihe enchanting figure 
the Sun also got a child of her. Tin , < hild also was taken 
to Ahalya and it was this child ihai lai< r on beramc the 
famous Sugriva. 
AHALYAlIRADA(M). A sacred pond in the tapovana 




(precincts of an asrama) of Gautama Rsi. It is believed 
that one would go to heaven if one bathes in it. 
A1IARA. A son born of Danu to Kasyapa. (M.B., Adi 

Parva, Sloka 25, Chapter 65). 

AHICCHATRA. This was the capital of the stete Ahi- 
rchatra which Drona got from Drupada, the King of 

AHICCHATRA (M). A state under the sovereignty of 
King Pancala. On the completion of his studies under 
Drona Arjuna brought before his preceptor King Dru- 
pada as a captive in discharge of the duty he owed to 
him as his master. Drupada then gave the state_ of 
Ahicchatra to Drona and got hi.s release. (M.B., Adi 
Parva, Slokas 73 to '76, Chapter 137). 
AHIldSA. Non-injury. There are opinions both in favour 
of and against Ahimsa in the puranas. Sukracarya ex- 
tol.' the importance of Ahimsa to the asuras (demons) 
thus : 

Bho ! Devaripavah satyam 
Bravlmi bhavatam hitam 
Ahimsa paramo dharmo 
Hantavya hyatatayinah 
Dai Si tarn himsanam pasoh 
Jihvasvadaparaih Kama 
Mahimsaiva para mata. 

"Oh, foes of the devas, I shall tell you the truth which is 
good for you. Non-injury to any living being is the most 
righteous thing. Do not molest even those who come to 
kill you. Even that act would be 'hirhsa' (injury). It 
was those brahmins who were attached to worldly plea- 
sures and addicted to overeating that enjoined in the 
Vedas that hirhsa is permissible for yagas." (Devi Bhaga- 
vata, Skanda 4). Markandeya Muni (sage) says thus : 
"Why should I mind the innumerable killings going on 
unnoticed in this world full of life. People of old speak 
very sacredly about Ahirhsa. But O best of brahmins, 
who can live in this world without injury to another 
life ?" (M.B., Aranya Parva, Slokas 32 & 33, Chapter 
AHIRATHA. A King of the Puru dynasty. (See under 

Puiu vamsa). 

AHIRBUDHNYA. One of the sons of Visvakarma. Five 
sons and one daughter were born to Visvakarma of his 
wife Surabhi. They were Ajaikapat, Ahirbudhnya, 
Tvasfa, Rudra, Barhismati and Samjna. (See under 
genealogy of Visvakarma). 
AHITA. A river of ancient Bharata. (M.B., Bhisma Parva, 

Sloka 21, Chapter 9). 

AHORATRA(M). (See under Kalamana). 
AHOVIRA. A sage who adhered strictly to the injunctions 
associated with the Yanaprastha stage of life. (M.B., 
Sand Paiva, Sloka 17, Chapter 144). 
AI ($). This diphthong means a female sage (yogini) 
according to the Agni Purana (Chapter 348 of Agni 

AIKSVAKI. Wife of Suhotra who was a son of Emperor, 
Bhumanyu. Suhotra had three sons by Aiksvaki. They 
were Ajamldha, Sumldha and Purumidha. (See Chapter 
94 of Adi Parva of the M.B.). 

AILA I. Son of Ila; Pururavas. (See under Ila). 
AILA II. A member of the court of Yamaraja. (Sec loka 
16, Chapter 8, Sabha Parva, M.B.). In Sloka 65, Chap- 
ter 115 of Anusasana Parva, it is said that he never ate 
non-vegetarian food in his life. 

AINDAVA. (See paragraph 13 under the word 

AIRAVATA I. A large elephant, son of Iravatl. 

1 ) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in this order : 
Visnu - Brahma - Kaiyapa - Bhadramata-Iravatl-Aira- 
vata. Kasyapa married Daksa's daughter, Krodhavasa 
who bore him ten daughters. They were : Mrgi, Mrga- 
manda, Harl, Bhadramata, Matarigl, Sarduli, Sveta, 
Surabhi, Sarasa and Kadru. Of these Bhadramata had 
a daughter named IravaiT and Airavata was her son. 
Airavata was not human in shape; he was a large ele- 
phant. (See Sarga 14, Aranyakanda, Ramayana). 

2) Indra? s Vahana. I ndra made Airavata his conveyance 
(vahana). Indra was Kaiyapa's son by Aditi. Airavata 
also was descended from Kasyapa. So Indra took 
Airavata as his vahana. 

3) Airavata caused the churning of the ocean of Milk. There 
is a story of how Airavata was responsible for the churn- 
ing of the milk-ocean (Ksirabdhi-mathanam). Once 
some maidens of devaloka presented a garland of flowers 
to sage Durvasas. When Durvasas visited Indra's court 
he gave that garland to Indra. Indra put it on the tusks 
of his vahana, Airavata. The fragrance of the flowers 
attracted a swarm of bees which became an intolerable 
nuisance to Airavata. So Airavata tore the garland off 
his tusks and hurled it away. When Durvasas heard 
this, he took it as an insult. In his anger he cursed all the 
gods the curse was that all gods should become subject 
to old age and the decrepitude and infirmities of old age. 
But though Durvasas cursed the gods, he also prescribed 
a remedy. The gods could redeem themselves from the 
curse by drinking Amrtam obtained from the ocean of 
Milk (Mahavisnu lies on the serpent, Sesa on this ocean). 
The curse began to operate and the gods lost their peren- 
nial youth. The gods then befriended the Asuras and 
with their help they churned the ocean of Milk. They 
got the nectar (Amrtam), drank it and regained their 
youth. (See under the word AMRTAM). 

4) There is another story about Airavata A story of 
. how he also rose out of the ocean of Milk. It is said that 

when the devas and asuras churned the ocean of Milk, 
Airavata also came up along with the other good things. 
This story is narrated in the 18th Chapter of Adi Parva 
of the Mahabharata. The explanation given is that when 
Durvasas cursed the gods, Airavata was oppressed with 
a sense of guilt because he was responsible for the curse. 
So he took refuge in the ocean of Milk and there started 
propitiating Mahavisnu. There is however no warrant 
for such an explanation in the puranas. But the expla- 
nation sounds plausible because it explains the absence 
of Airavata during the interval between Durvasas's 
curse and the churning of the sea. Air?.vata is represented 
as a white elephant. It is probable that he became white 
after his long residence in the ocean of Milk. This lends 
some additional plausibility to the above explanation. 

5) Airavata, the Lord of the elephant. In the Visnu Purana 
we are told how Airavata was made the chief of all ele- 
phants. When the Maharsis had crowned Prthu as the 
sovereign King, Brahma gave new posts of honour to 
many of the devas. He made SOMA (Moon) the lord 
of the Stars and Planets, of Brahmins, Yajfias and herbs. 
Kubera was made the overlord of all Kings; Varuna 
was made the master of the seas and all water; Visnu, 

the lord of the Adityas and Pavaka (Fire) the lord of 


the Vasus. Along with these Brahma made Airavata the 
lord of all elephants. (Chapter 22, Visnu Purana). 

6 ) The breaking of Airavata' s tusks. There is a story oi'how 
the tusks of Airavata were broken narrated in the Asura- 
kanda of Skanda Purana. Once an asura (demon) 
named Surapadma attacked devaloka. A fierce battle 
ensued between the gods and asuras. In the course of 
this battle, Jayanta, Indra's son, was hit by an arrow 
and at once he fell dead. Enraged by this Airavata 
rushed at Surapadma's chariot and shattered it to 
pieces. Airavata then attacked Surapadma who broke his 
tusks and hurled him down to the earth. Airavata lay 
paralysed for a long time; then he got up, retired to a 
forest arid prayed to Lord Siva. With the grace of Siva 
Airavata regained his lost tusks and was able to return 
to devaloka. 

7) Other details about Airavata. (1) There is a belief 
that Airavata is one of the eight elephants guarding the 
eight zones of the universe. These eight elephants are 
called the Astadiggajas. Airavata is supposed to guard 
the eastern zone. (Chapter 66, Adi Parva, Maha- 
bharata ) . 

(2 ) Airavata and three other diggajas are supposed to 
reside in Puskara Island. (Chapter 12, Bhisma Parva, 

AIRAVATA II. Name of a serpent born to Kasyapa and 
his wife Kadru. This is mentioned in Sloka 5, Chapter 
35, Adi Parva of the Mahabharata. Arjuna's father-in- 
law and Ulupi's father, Kauravya belonged to the family 
of this serpent. (See Sloka 18, Chapter 213, Adi 
Parva ) . 

AIRAVATA. An asura who was killed by Sri Krsna. 
(See Chapter 38, Sabha Parva, Mahabharata). 

AIRAVATAGHATTA. Name of a place near the sea- 
shore, lying to the north of the mountain, Srtigavan. 
(See Sloka 37, Chapter 6, Bhisma Parva). 

AISlKAM. Name of a small division of a parva of the 
Mahabharata. (See under Mahabharata). 

AITAREYA I. A great scholar with profound knowledge 
of the Vedas. Being a non-brahmin he was not able to 
learn the Vedas from a guru. In spite of this handicap 
he acquired considerable scholarship and wrote a learned 
commentary on the Rgveda. This commentary ranks 
high among the various commentaries on the Vedas. 

AITAREYA II. Son of Sage, Manduki by his first wife, 
Itara. Being the son of Itara he came to be called Aita- 
reya. As a boy he was very pious and used to chant the 
mantra "Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya" frequently. But 
he was a shy and silent boy and his father mistook his 
silence to be a sign of stupidity. Dissatisfied with him and 
being desirous of having learned sons, Manduki married 
another woman named Piriga and had four sons by her 
who all became very learned. Once Itara called her 
son and told him that his father regarded him as an 
unworthy son and was often twitting her using insulting 
words for having given birth to so unworthy a son. She 
then told him of her resolve to sacrifice her life. Aita- 
reya then made an enlightening discourse to her and 
dissuaded her from her determination to commit suicide. 
Some time later Lord Visnu appeared before them and 
blessed the mother and son. On the advice of Visnu 
Aitareya participated in the yajna conducted by Hari- 


medhya at Kotitirtha and there he made a learned 
speech on the Vedas. Harimedhya was so pleased with 
him that he gave his daughter in marriage to him. 
(See Skanda Purana, Chapters 1, 2 and 42). 

AJA I. A king of the Solar dynasty. 

1) Genealogy. PVom Visnu were descended in order: 
Brahma, Marici-Kasyapa-Vivasvan - Vaivasvata - Iks- 
vaku-Vikuksi - Sa^ada - Puranjaya - Kukutstha -Anenas- 
PrthulaJva - Prasenajit - YuvanaSva - Mandhata - Puru- 
kutsa-Trasadasyu - Anaranya - AryasVa - Vasumanas- 
Sudhanva - Traiyaruna - Satyavrata - TrisaiVku - Haris'- 
candra - Rohitasva - Harita - Cuncu - Sudeva - Bharuka- 
Bahuka - Sagara - Asamanjas - Arhsuman - Dilipa - 
Bhaglratha - Srutanabha - Sindhudvlpa - Ayutayus - 
Rtuparna - Sarvakama - Sudasana - Mitrasakha - Kal- 
masapada - Axmaka - Mulaka - Dilipa - Dirghabahu - 
Raghu - Aja - Aja's son Dasaratha-Dasaratha's son, Sri 

M.B., Anu::asana Parva, Chapter 115, Verse 75 says that 
Aja never used to take meat. 

AJA II. Among the different kinds of Rsis mentioned by 
Yudhisthira, we find a class of Rsis called Ajas. (M.B., 
Santi Parva, Chapter 26). These Ajas had attained 
Heaven by Svadhyaya (self discipline) alone. 

AJA III. King Jahnu had a son named Aja. Uuka was 
the son of this Aja. King Ugika prayed to Indra for a 
son. Indra himself was born as the son of IKika assum- 
ing the name Gadhi. Satyavati was born as the daughter 
of Gadhi. She was married to Rcika. Para:'urama's 
father, Jamadagni was the son of Rcika. (M.B., Sand 
Parva, Chapter 49). 

AJA IV. By the grace of Siva Surabhl was able to purify 
herself by penance. She then gave birth to Aja, Ekapat, 
Ahirbudhnya, Tvasta and Rudra . (Agni Purana, Chap- 
ter 18). 

AJA V. In the first Manvantara* Svayambhuva, in the 
second Manvantara Svarocisa and in the third Manv- 
antara Uttama, were Manus. To the third Manu, 
Uttama, were born as sons Aja, Para:'u, Dipta and 
others. (Visnu Purana, Part 3, Chapter 1). 
Besides the above, the term Aja has been used to mean 
Surya, Siva, Brahma, Visnu, Sri Krsna and Bija (seed). 

AJAGAVA. Ajagava is a bow made of the horns of a 
goat and a cow. Brahmins tormented the right hand of 
the King Vena. From it the brilliant Prthu who shone 
brightly like the God Agni, appeared as the son of Vena. 
At that time the very first Ajagava bow, divine arrows 
and armours dropped from the sky. (Visnu Purana, 
Part I, Chapter 13). 

AJAIKAPAT I. He was one of the eleven Rudras, who 
were born to Sthanudeva, the son of Brahma. The eleven 
Rudras are : 

1 . Mrgavyadha 7. Dahana 

2- Nirrti 8. I^vara 

3. Ahirbudhnya 9. Kapali 

4. Pinaki 10. Bharga 

5. Sarpa 11. Sthanu. 

6. Ajaikapat 

(M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 66, Verse 2).** 
AJAIKAPAT II. Among the sons of Vi;'vakarma, we 
find one Ajaikapat. Brahma created Vi:',vakarma. 
Vi-svakarma had four sons Ajaikapat, Ahirbudhnya, 

* One Manvantara is a period equal to 4,32o,ojo human years or equal to i/4th day of Brahma. 

*:* The names of the Eleven Rudras given in the Visnu Purana, Part I, Chapter 5 are: Hara, Bahurupa, Tryambaka, Aparajita, 
Vrsakapi, Sambhu, Kapardi, Raivata, Mrgavyadha, Sarva, Kapali. A total number of 100 Rudras are mentioned in the Puranas. 




asta and Rudra. (Visnu Purana, Part I, Chapter 15 ) . 
This Ajaikap.u is one of those who are in-charge of 
preserving all the gold in this world. (M.B., Udyoga 
Parva, Chapter 114, Verse 4). 

AJAKA. An Asura. 

Birth. Ka'.yapa was born the son of Marici, son of 
Brahma. Ka-'.yapa married Danu, one of the daughters 
of Daksa and had two sons by her. They were Ajaka 
and Vrsaparva. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 
24; Chapter 67, Verse 16). 

AJAKASVA. A king of the Puru Vamsa. The mighty 
Jahnu was born to Ajamldha by his wife Kesini. Two 
sons, Ajakasva and BalakasVa were born to Jahnu. 
Kusika is the son of Balakasva. Kusika is the grand- 
father of ViSvamitra. For genealogy see Puru Vamia. 
(Agni Purana, Chapter 278). 

AJAMlDHA I. A famous king of the Puru Vamsa. 

1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in this order: 
Brahma - Atri - Candra - Budha - Pururavas - Ayus - 
Nahusa - Yayati - Puru - Janamejaya - Pracinva-Mana- 
syu - Vltabhaya - Sundu - Bahuvidha - Samyati - Raho- 
vadi - Bhadras"va - Matmara - Santurodha - Dusyanta - 

2) Birth. Several dynasties like Yadu Vamsa, Puru 
Varh;;a etc. take their origin from Yayati. Dusyanta be- 
longs to that dynasty. King Bharata was born as Dus- 
yanta's son by Sakuntala. Suhotra - Suhota - Gaya - 
Gardda-Suketu and Brhatksetra were Bharata's sons. 
Bfhatksetra had four children, who were : Nara, Maha- 
vira, Garga and Hasti. OfthemHasti had three sons: 
Purumldha, Ajamldha and Dvimidha. 

3 ) Other details. Ajamldha had three queens DhQ- 
mini, Nil! and Kesini. Of them, Dhumini had a son, 
Rksa and Nili's son was Dusyanta (This was not Sakun- 
tala's husband, Dusyanta) and KeSini's sons were Jahnu, 
Praja and Rupina. Paramesti was another name of 
Kesini. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Verses 30-32; 
Anusasana Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 2). 

AJAMlDHA II. We come across another Ajamldha also 
in the Lunar Dynasty. He married Sudeva, daughter 
of Vikantha a King of the Lunar Dynasty. This Aja- 
mldha had 2400 children by his four wives, Kaikey I, 
Gandharl, Visala and Rksa. Of them Samvarana 
- married Tapati, the daughter of Vivasvan. See TapatI 
Samvarana. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Verses 

AJAMILA. Ajamila's story is given in the Bhagavata as 
an example to illustrate that even the most wicked person 
can attain Visnupada (Salvation). 
Ajamila was a Brahmin who was once sent by his 
father to the jungle to fetch samit (leaves and twigs 
to make the sacrificial fire) . Ajamila met there a beauti- 
ful Siidra woman. Forgetting everything, the Brahmin 
made her his wife and children were born to them. 
When that Brahmin, who was the very embodiment of 
all vices, reached the age of eightyseven, the time came 
for him to die. Yamadutas (Agents of Yama the god 
of death) had arrived. The frightened Ajamila shouted 
loudly the name of his eldsst son, 'Narayana'. Hearing 
the repeated call of his name 'Narayana', Mahavisnu 
appeared there and dismissed the agents of Yama. From 
that day Ajamila became a devotee of Visnu and did 
penance on the bank of the Ganges and after some years 
attained salvation. (Bhagavata, Astama Skandha, 
Chapter 1). 

AJAMUKHA (AJAVAKTRA). He was one of the 

soldiers in Skanda's army. (M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 
45, Verse 75). In the battle between Skanda and the 
Asuras, Ajamukha killed the Asura, Madhu. (Skanda 
Purana, Yuddha Kanda). 

1. Genealogy. Descended from Visnu thus : Brahma- 

2) Birth Long ago in the battle between Devas and 
Asuras one of the routed Asuras had fled to Patala (Hell). 
Surasa was his daughter. Brahma's grandson, Kasyapa 
married Surasa. She gave birth to six children Surapa- 
dma, Simhika, Simhavaktra, Tarakasura, Ajamukhl and 
Gomukha. The Asura woman Ajamukhl is one of them. 

3) Chief events. (1) Marriage with Durvasas. Once 
Surapadma called his two brothers, Simhavaktra and 
Tarakasura and ordered them to set up two cities, one 
to the north and the other to the south, of Mahameru. 
In obedience to his elder brother, Tarakasura started 
with one half of the army and set up a city to the south 
of Mahameru. That city was named Mayapura. Simha- 
vaktra lived in the city on the northern side of Maha- 
meru. Their sister Ajamukhl went about enticing men to 
satisfy her lustful passion. Once, in the course of her 
wanderings, she met Durvasas in the Himalayan valley. 
They fell in love and even married. The two Asuras, 
Ilvala and Vatapi were born from their union. They 
insisted on sharing their father's achievements between 
them. Durvasas cursed them that they would die at the 
hands of Agastya. (Skanda Purana, Asura Kanda). 

( 2 ) The cutting off of Ajamukhfs hands. While wandering 
with her lustful passion, Ajamukhl once went to the Siva 
temple at Kasi. There she happened to meet Indra's 
wife, Sacldevl. In order to give her to her brother, 
Surapadma, Ajamukhl caught hold of Sacidevi. Sacl- 
devi screamed aloud. Suddenly Siva appeared there 
with His sword. Even then Ajamukhl refused to release 
Sacldevl. Siva rescued Indrani (Sacldevi) by cutting off 
Ajamukhi's hands. Hearing this, Surapadma sent his 
army and imprisoned the Devas. The imprisoend 

, Brahma at the instance of Surapadma, restored Aja- 
mukhi's hands. Surapadma's son, Bhanugopa fought 
against the remaining Devas and defeated them. (Skanda 
Purana, Asura Kanda). 


AJANABHA. A mountain. A reference to this is seen in 
the M.B., Anusasane Parva, Chapter 165, Verse 32. 
Another name, Ajanabha Varsa for the territory ruled 
over by Ajanabha, is also found in Bhagavata, Fifth 
Skandha, Chapter 1. 

AJARA. Tapantaka, the minister of King Vatsa, told 
him the story of a man named Ajara to illustrate the law 
that all people will have to suffer the consequences of 
their actions in a previous birth. The story is given be- 

Once upon a time, there lived a King named Vinayasila 
in Vilasapura, in the city of Srikanthanagarl. After 
some years, the King was affected by wrinkles of old age. 
A physician named Tarunacandra came to the palace to 
cure the King of his wrinkles. "The King should remain 
alone in the interior of the earth for full eight months. 
He has to use a medicine while remaining there. It 
should not even be seen by anyone else. I myself am to 
administer the medicine" This was the physician's 
prescription. The King agreed. Accordingly the King 




and the physician spent six months in the interior of the 
earth. After that the physician, after a search, found a 
man who exactly resembled the King and brought him 
to the interior of the earth. After two more months, 
the physician murdered the King and came out with the 
new man. The people welcomed him with honour as 
the King who was cured of his wrinkles. This man was 
Ajara. After some time, the physician approached 
Ajara for his reward. Ajara said: "It is by my Karma- 
phala (consequence of my actions in my previous birth) 
that I have become King. In my previous birth I re- 
nounced my body after doing penance. According to the 
boon which God gave me on that occasion, I have be- 
come King in my present birth". The physician returned 
empty-handed. (Kathasaritsagare, Ratnaprabha- 
lariibaka, 6th Taranga). 

AJAVINDU. He was a King, born in the dynasty of the 
Suviras. (M.B., Udyoga Parva, Chapter 74, Verse 14). 

AJEYA. He was a King in ancient Bharata. Ajeya's name 
is found among the names of the Kings mentioned by 
Sanjaya to Dhftarastra. All these Kings were mighty 
and generous rulers who were the recipients of divine 
arrows. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 1, Verse 234). 

AJIGARTA (RClKA). He was a greedy Brahmin. (See 


King Hariscandra who was distressed by having no 
children, propitiated god Varuna. Varuna blessed 
him saying that a son would be born to him. But 
the condition was that the child should be sacrificed 
to Varuna. When the child was born, Hariscandra did 
not like to sacrifice the boy. The sage Visvamitra suggest- 
ed that instead of sacrificing his own son it would be 
enough if he bought another boy and sacrificed him. 
Accordingly, Hariscandra sent his minister to find out 
and purchase a Brahmin boy for the sacrifice. At that 
time there lived in Ayodhya a greedy Brahmin named 
Ajigarta. He had three sons. In the course of his search, 
the minister came across this needy Brahmin and asked 
him whether he was willing to sell one of his three sons. 
He continued: "Why should you be in this wretched 
state of poverty and misery ? Sell one of your sons and 
you will get 100 cows as the price". The minister's 
words and the price offered for the son made a deep 
impression on the Brahmin's mind. He thought: 
"It is impossible for me to earn 100 cows. Even if it were 
possible how long would it take ? If I sell him I shall 
get hundred cows at once. What a lucky chance ! The 
loss of a son is nothing." So thinking, he sold his son 
Sunassepha. (For the rest of the story, see the word 
"Sunassepha". Devi Bhagavata, Skandhas 7, 8). 

AJINA. 1 ) Genealogy From Visnu, Brahma, Marici, 
Kasyapa, Vaivasvata, Uttanapada, Dhruva, Srsti, Ripu, 
Caksusa, Manu, Uru, Ariiga, Vena, Prthu, Antardhana, 
Havirdhana and Ajina. 

2) Birth. Prthu had two sons, Antardhana and Vadi. 
Antardhana had a son, Havirdhana, by Sikhandini. 
Dhisana, who was born in the Agnikula became Havir- 
dhana's wife. Six sons were born to them, Pracina- 
barhis, Sukra, Gaya, Krsna, Vraja and Ajina. (Visnu 
Purana, Part I, Chapter 14). 

AJISAKA. (See the word (SAKAVARSA). 

AJODARA. There was an individual called Ajodara in 
Skanda's army. (M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 60 ) . 

AKAMPANA. (A mighty warrior among the demons). 
1 ) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following 

order: Visnu - Brahma - Heti - VidyukeSa - SukeSa 

2) Other details. Sumali married Ketumati and got 
fourteen children. They were 1 ) Prahasta 2) Akampana 

3) Vikata 4) Kalakamukha 5) Dhumraksa 6) Danda 
7) Suparwa 8) Samhrada 9) Prakvata 10) Bhasakarna 
11) Veka 12) Puspotkata 13) Kaikasi and 14) Kumbhi- 
nadi. Of these the last four are daughters. Prahasta was 
one of the ministers of Ravana. The thirteenth child 
Kaikasi was married to Visravas, son of Pulastya. 
Visravas got three sons and a daughter. They were 
Ravana, Kumbhakarna and Vibhlsana and Surpanakha. 
It was Akampana who informed Ravana that Rama and 
Laksmana had killed his three allies, Khara, Dusana 
and Trisiras (Aranya Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana). 

3) Death. Akampana fought a fierce battle with 
Hanuman and in the end Hanuman plucked a big tree 
and hit Akampana on the head with it and killed him. 
(Sarga 56, Yuddha Kanda of Ramayana) 

AKAMPANA II. He was a king who lived in the Krta- 
yuga. He had a son named Hari who was a fierce fighter. 
He was killed in a battle and the King became much 
depressed. Narada consoled him with other stones and 
Vyasa told this story to Dharmaputra when he found 
the latter greatly dejected and gloomy after the great 
battle was over. (Chapter 52, Drona Parva of M.B. 
also makes mention of Akampana). 

AKARKKARA. A serpent, son of Kadru. 

1 ) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in this order : 

2) Birth. Kasyapa married the eight daughters of 
Daksa named Aditi, Dili, Danu, Kalika, Tamra, 
Krodhavaia, Manu and Anala. Krodhavaia got ten 
sons. One of them is Kadru. Ananta and Akarkkara 
were born of Kadru. (Sloka 16, Chapter 35, Adi Parva, 

AKRODHA. A King of the Puru dynasty. He was born 
to King 'Ayutanayi' and his Queen, Kama. Kama, 
mother of Akrodha, was the daughter of Prthu^rava. 
(gloka 21, Chapter 95, Adi Parva, M.B.). ' 

AKRTA&RAMA. He is one of the few sannyasins who 
have gone to heaven after completing the fourth a^rama 
of life namely, Sannyasa. The Kaurava-Pandava 
battle was over. As the eldest, Dharmaputra performed 
obsequies to all those of his kith and kin dead in the war. 
He was then met by many sages including Vyasa and 
Narada who comforted him in his bereavement. When 
Dharmaputra later met Bhisma the latter among many 
other stories told him the story of Akrtasrama also. 
(Sloka 17, Chapter 244, Santi Parva, M.B.). 


1 ) General information. Akrtavrana was a great sage of 
erudition and was a disciple of Paraiurama. He is ex- 
tolled in the Puranas and it is said that Suta who recited 
first the story of Mahabharata to an assembly of sages in 
the forest of Naimisa was a disciple of Akrtavrana. 
(Skandha 12 of Bhagavata). 

2) How he became a disciple of Parasurama. Para-urama 
was returning after obtaining arrows from Lord Siva 
after pleasing him by fierce penance- He was walking 
briskly through the dense forests anxious to be at the side 
of his preceptors to get their blessings. As he passed a 
grea t cave he heard a moan and on getting to the site 
of the sound found a brahmin boy being attacked by a 
tiger. The tiger immediately fell dead by an arrow from 


Paras urania. Lo !^ the tiger turned into a gandharva 
freed now irom a curse ui which he was lor years 
living as a tiger. The gandharva bowed down respect- 
fully and thanked the sage for giving him relief ;>nd left 
the place. The brahmin boy fell down at the led oi 
Para'.urama and said, "Great Lord, becau'se of you I 
haw now become Akrtavrana meaning one who has not 
received any wound. (Akrta = not having secured. 
Vraiia= wound). I shall, thcrelbre, be your djsciple for- 
ever hereafter". 1'Vom that day onwards he never left 
Parasurama but followed him as his disciple. 
3 ) Other details. ( 1 ) In the story of Mahabharata we 
find Akrtavrana in several different contexts appearing 
on behalf of Parasurama- It was Akrtavrana who told 
Dharmaputra the life and exploits of Parasurama during 
the exile of the Pandavas in the forests. (Chapters 1 15 to 
117, Vana Parva,' M.B.). 

(2) In Chapter 83 of Udyoga Parva we read about 
Akrtavrana meeting Sri Krsna while the latter was going 
to Hastinapura. 

(3) In Chapter 173 of Udyoga Parva we read about 
Akrtavrana detailing the history of the Kaurava dynasty 
to Duryodhana. 

(4) Akrtavrana has played a very important role in the 
story of Amba, daughter of the King of Kail. Amba 
along with her two sisters, Ambika and Ambalika, were 
brought down to Hastinapura by Bhlsma for his brother 
Vicitravlrya to marry. But on knowing that Amba had 
mentally chosen Salva as her husband, Bhlsma allowed 
her to go back to Salva. But on her return to Salva he 
refused to accept her and she came back to Hastinapura. 
BhTsma then requested Vicitravlrya to accept her as 
his wife whicji, unfortunately, Vicitravlrya also refused 
to do- Amba then turned to Bhlsma and besought him 
to marry her which, much to his regret, he could not do 
because of his vow of celibacy. Thus forsaken by all, 
all her sweetness turned into bitter hatred towards 
Bhlsma and she remained alive thereafter only to kill 
BhTsma- But even the foremost of warriors were not 
willing to antagonise Bhlsma and so her appeal to help 
was not heeded by any. It was then that Hotravaha her 
grandfather on the maternal side met her and directed 
her to Parasurama. When she went to Para-' urama it 
was Akrtavrana who received her and on hearing her 
sorrowful tale encouraged her to seek vengeance on 
BhTsma. Again it was he who persuaded Parasurama to 
champion her cause and go for a fight against Bhisma. 
During the fight Akrtavrana acted as charioteer to 
Parasurama. (Sloka 9, Chapter 179, Udyoga Parva, 

(5) Akrtavrana was one of the many sages who were 
lying on a bed of arrows during the great Kuruksetra 
battle. (S"loka 8, Chapter 26, Anu:;asana Parva, M.B.). 


1 ) Gmtalogy. Descended from Visnu in the following 
order : Brahma-Atri-Candra-Budha- Pururavas - Ayus- 
. Nahusa-Yayati-Yadu (Chapter XII of Agni Purana). 
Descending from Yadu in order were Sahasrajit-Satajit- 
KarttavTryarjuna - Madhu - Vrsni (Chapter XXIII of 
Navama Skandha, Bhagavata). The Vrsni dynasty be- 
gins and from Vrsni in order descended Yudhajit-Sini- 
Satyaka-Satyaki-Jaya-Kuni-Anamitra-Prsni-vaphalka - 
Akrura. (Chapter XXIV of Navama Skandha, Bhaga- 
vata ) . 


2) Birth. Svaphalka of the Vrsni dynasty married 
Naudini, daughter of the King of Kasi and Akrura was 
hum to them. Akrura was an uncle <;!'SrT Krsna but is 
respected more as a worshipper of Krsna. 

3) Otlur details. (1 )He became famous as a commander 
of the Yadavaormy. (Chapter 220 of Adi Parva, M.B.). 

(2) Akrura was also present lor the Svayamvara (wed- 
ding) of Pancali. (Sloka 18, Chapter 185 of Adi Parva, 

(3) At the time of Arjuna's eloping with Subhadra, a 
grand festival was going on in the Raivata mountain and 
Akrura was partaking in the same. (Sloka 10, Chapter 
218, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

(4) Akrura accompanied Krsna with the dowry in- 
tended for Subhadra. (Sloka 29, Chapter 220, Adi Parva, 

(5) Akrura came to the country called Upaplavya for 
attending the marriage of Abhimanyu. (Sloka 22, Chap- 
ter 72, Virata Parva, M.B.). 

(6) Akiura and Ahuka always quarrelled with each 
other both alleging that the other sided with the opposite 
camp of Krsna. (Slokas 9 to 11, Chapter 81, S~anti 
Parva, M.B.j. 

(7) Kariisa planning to kill Balabhadrarama and SrT 
Krsna conducted a festival called Capapuja (worship 
of the bow). It was Akrura whom Kamsa sent to bring 
Balabhadra and Krsna for the festival. Akrura under- 
stood the plot, informed Krsna about it and also advised 
Krsna to kill Kamsa. (Da.:ama Skandha, Bhagavata). 

(8) Akrura fought against Jarasandha on the side of 
Krsna. (Dasama Skandha). 

(9) On another occasion Krsna, Balabhadra and Ud- 
dhava sent Akrura to Hastinapura to get tidings about 
Kunti and the Pandavas. Akrura met his sister KuntI 
and talked to her for a long time and also met Dhrta- 
rastra and talked to him after which he returned to 
Dvaraka. (Dasama Skandha). 

(10) Akrura wentto Hastinapura as a messenger from 
SrT Krsna. (Refer sub-para 3 of para 13 under Krsna). 

4) Domestic life. Akrura married Sutanu, daughter of 
Ahuka and got two sons named Devaka and Upadevaka. 
(Navama Skandha ) . 

5 ) Syamantaka and Akrura. Refer para 2 under the word 

AKSA I. (Aksakumara). 

1 j Genealogy. Descended in order from Visnu as 
follows: Brahma - Pulastya - Visravas - Ravana - Aksa. 
(Uttararamayana ). 

2) Birth. Three sons were born to Ravana, King of the 
demons, by his wife Mandodarl. They were Megha- 
nada, Atikaya and Aksakumara. Aksakumara was a 
redoubtable hero and a fierce fighter but was killed by 
Haniiman in Lanka. (Sarga 47, Sundara Kanda, 
Valmiki Ramayana). 

AKSA II. We find another warrior of this name among 
the soldiers who came to help Skanda in the Kaurava- 
Pandava battle. (Sloka 58, Chapter 45, Salya Parva, 

AKSAHRDAYA. A sacred chant or mantra. When 
Nala was roaming about in the forests after his separa- 
tion from Damayanti he happened to save the cobra, 
Karkotaka, from a wild fire. But in return the snake bit 
him and made him as black as clouds. He then advised 
Nala to go to the palace of King Rtuparna where the 


cobra said, Nala would be taught the secret mantra of 
Aksahrdaya by the King. 

One who knows this sacred chant can find out all secrets 
of a game of dice and can count within no time the 
number of leaves, fruits and flowers on a tree. Nala went 
to Rtuparna and stayed with him. While living there a 
brahmin named Sudeva came to Rtuparna and informed 
him that Damayantl was going to marry again. Rtuparna 
immediately started for Vidarbha taking Nala as his 
charioteer. The chariot driven by Nala flew like a wind 
and on the way when Rtuparna's handkerchief fell down 
and he requested Nala to stop the chariot. Nala informed 
him that by the time the request was made they had 
travelled already one yojana. As they proceeded they 
saw a huge tree full of leaves and fruits. Rtuparna at a 
glance told Nala that the tree contained five crores of 
leaves and two thousand nine hundred and five fruits. 
Nala was surprised. Then they understood that Nala 
was able to drive the chariot so quickly because of his 
knowledge of the sacred chant Asvahfdaya and that 
Rtuparna was able to count the leaves and fruits be- 
cause of his knowledge of the chant Aksahrtlaya. They 
taught each other the sacred mantras. Because of this 
Aksahfdaya Nala was able to win the game of dice the 
second time and regain his kingdom. (Chapter 72, 
Vana Parva). 

AKSAMALA (ARUNDHATl). See under Arundhatl. 

AKSAPRAPATANA. A particular place in the country 
of Anartta. At this place Sri Krsna killed two demons 
named Gopati and Talaketu. (Sloka 29, Chapter 38, 
Sabha Parva, M.B.). 

AKSARAPURUSA. When all was set for the Kuru- 
ksetra battle Arjuna showed signs of weakness and hesi- 
tated to proceed for a fight. Sri Krsna then through the 
famous Gita enunciated a philosophy of life during the 
course of which he speaks about the two purusas, Ksara 
and Aksara. All that we see in this world and enjoy are 
Ksara and the power behind all of them is Aksara. 
God is one who transcends the aspects Ksara and Aksara 
and stands as the root cause of all life. (Slokas 16 to 19, 
Chapter 39_, Bhlsma Parva, M.B. ) 

AKSASUTRA. She was the wife of the sage Apastamba. 
She was a very chaste woman. (See under Apastamba). 

AKSAUHINl. A big division of an army. It is described 
in the Verses 19 to 26 in the 2nd Chapter of Adi Parva of 
the Malayalam Mahabharata. It says thus : One chariot, 
one elephant, three horses and five soldiers constitute 
what is termed a Patti. Three such pattis make one Sena- 
mukha and three such scnamukhas make one Gulma. 
Three gulmas make one Gana and three such ganas 
make one Vahini. Three such vahinis make one Prtana. 
An Aksauhml contains 21870 chariots, an equal number 
of elephants, 65160 horses and 109350 soldiers. 

AKSAYAPATRA. This is a copper vessel given to 
Dharmaputra by Surya(Sun). To destroy the Pan.davas, 
Duryodhana kept them in a palace made of lac. They 
escaped from there and passing through dense forests 
crossed the river Ganges and reached the Kingdom of 
Pancala where they married the King's daughter, 
Krsna (Pancall). On their way they killed two demons 
called Hidimba and Baka. When they were livm.g hap- 
pily at Indraprastha the jealous Duryodhana defeated 
them in a game of dice by foul play and sent them for a 
period of twelve years to the forests. The Pandavas 
found it impossible to feed the innumerable subjects who 


faithfully followed them to the forest. Dharmaputra 
then prayed to the God, Surya and he appeared before 
him and gave him this Aksaya Patra (Ak?aya=never 
getting empty, Patra =pot). Everyday this pot never 
got empty till the meals of Pancall were over. (Chapter 
3, Vana Parva, M.B.). See ako under Duryodhana; 
Para 12. 

AKSAYAVATA. A sacred lake. When the Pandavas 
during their exile went to Pulastyairama sage Pulaslya 
gave a description of all the sacred lakes in India. He 
says, "After reaching Markandeya lake you should visit 
the meeting place of the rivers Gariga and Gomatl. 
Then when you reach Gaya you will find there a lake 
called Aksayavata. If you bathe in that lake you will 
get salvation". In the Navama Skandha of Devi Bhtga- 
vata you find the following about Aksayavata: "Pu;pa- 
bhadra is one of the famous sacred rivers in India. This 
river starts from the Himalayas with the name Saravatl 
and flowing for 500 yojanas (One yojanam is equal 
to about 8 miles) on the left side of river Gomatl reaches 
the western ocean. There is an airama called Akfaya- 
vata on the shores of this beautiful river which always 
carries crystal clear water. The asrama got that name 
because of a big banyan tree standing near it. Kapila, 
the great sage, did penance sitting here for a long time. 
Lord Siva, Bhadrakall and Skanda used to come and 
sit underneath this banyan tree. 

AKSIIiTA. He was the son of Viisvamitra. (Sloka 50, 
Chapter 14, Anusasana Parva. For more details see 
under Visvamitra). 


1 ) General information. There is a lake in the Hima- 
layas called Indradyumna. Akupara is a tortoise living 
in it. There is also a statement that this is the Adi- 
Kurma (second of the ten incarnations of God). A 
description of Akupara is found in Chapter 199 of Vana 
Parva in Mahabharata. 

2) Cirafijivi (One who has no death}. When the Panda- 
vas were in exile in the forests sage Markandeya tells 
many stories to Dharmaputra to console him in his sad 
plight. The Pandavas asked Markandeya whether he 
knew of anybody living before him. Then the sage said, 
"In times of old Indradyumna an ascetic King (Rajarsi) 
fell down from heaven when he fell short of his accumu- 
lated 'Punya'. Sorrowfully he came to me and asked me 
whether I knew him. I replied in the negative adding 
that perhaps Pravlrakarna an owl living on the top of 
the Himalayas might know him since he was older 
than me- At once Indradyumna became a horse and 
taking me on its back approached the owl living in the 
Himalayas. The owl also could not remember Indra- 
dyumna but directed him to a stork named Nadljarhgha 
who was older than the owl. The Ascetic king took me 
then to the Indradyumna lake where the stork lived. 
The stork also could not find the identity of Indra- 
dyumna. Perhaps he said that a tortoise of name Aku- 
para living in that same lake might know him. We then 
approached the tortoise and enquired whether he knew 
Indradyumna. The tortoise sat in meditation for some 
time and then weeping profusely and shaking like a leaf 
stood bowing respectfully and said, "How can I remain 
without knowing him ? There are several monuments 

of the useful work done by him here. This very lake is of 
his making. This came into existence by the march of 
the cows he gave away to the people". The moment 



the tortoise finished speaking a chariot appeared from 
heaven to take the King away. The King after leaving 
me and the owl in their proper places ascended to heaven 
in the chariot. _ 

ALAGHU. A son born to Vasistha by Urjja. Raja 
(Rajas) Gatra, Urdhvabahu, Savana, Sukra and 
Sutapas, who were great hermits, were brothers of 
Alaghu, who has another name 'Alagha'. (Agni Punlna, 
Chapter 20). 

ALAKA. The city of Kubera. 

ALAKANANDA. River Ganga of devaloka. The river 
ganga of the earth when it flows through devaloka is 
called Alakananda and is called VaitaranI when it flows 
through Pitrloka (nether world). Kr?nadvaipayana 
(Vyasa) declares that Deva Ganga with crystal pure 
water flowing in devaloka under the name Alakananda 
and Vaitarani of the nether world, a terror to sinners, 
are the same as the Gariga of the earth. (Slokas 21 and 
22, Chapter 170, Bhasa Bharata, A.P.). 
Starting from Visnupada Alakananda flows through 
Devayana which blazes with the splendour of a crore of 
beautiful many-storeyed buildings. Flowing from there 
to Candramandala (moon) and flooding it completely 
flows down to Brahmaloka. From there it divides into 
four rivulets and flows to the four different sides with 
the names Sita, Caksus, Alakananda and Bhadra. Of 
these Sita falls on the thickly wooded mountain tops of 
Mahameru and flowing from there through Gandha- 
madana by the side of BhadraSvavarsa falls down in the 
eastern ocean. Caksus falls on the top of Malyavan 
mountain and flowin-g through Ketumala falls down in 
the western ocean. The most sacred of the group, 
Alakananda, falls on the mountain of Hemakuta and 
from there flows through Bharatavarsa and falls down 
in the southern ocean. The fourth, Bhadra, falling on 
the top of the Mountain, Sriigavan flows to the northern 
ocean. Of these the most sacred is Alakananda which 
flows through Bharatavarsa and it is believed that even 
those who think of taking a bath in that will acquire the 
benefit of performing yagas like AsVamedha and Raja- 
suya. (Eighth Skandha of Sri Mahadevlbhagavata). ' 
ALAMBALA. A giant who used to eat human flesh. 
This cannibal was the son of Jatasura. This asura 
(Alambala) fought on the side of the Kauravas in the 
Kuruksetra battle because Bhimasena had killed his 
father, Jatasuia. In the battle, Ghatotkaca cut off the 
head of this mighty warrior and magician and threw his 
head into the war-chariot of Duryodhana. (M.B., Drona 
Parva, Chapter 149). 

ALAMBATlRTHA. A holy place where there was a 
sacred bath. Garuda, when he went to devaloka (the 
realm of the gods) to bring Arm-tarn (ambrosia) took 
rest in this holy place. (See under the word Garuda. 
Also M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 39, Stanza 39). 
ALAMBUSA I. Son of the giant Rsyasrnga. He had 
fought on the side of the Kauravas. (MB., Udyoga Parva, 
Chapter 167, Stanza 33). There was a combat between 
Alambusa and Ghatotkaca, on the first day of the battle 
of Kuruksetra. 

"Alambusa shot ninety sharpened pointed arrows at the 
son of Bhimasena (Ghatotkaca), cut his body in several 
places. Though he was full of wounds, he fought all the 
more fiercely". (Bhasa Bharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 
45, Stanzas 43, 44). 


Alambusa had engaged Abhimanyu, Satyaki, Ghatot- 
kaca, Kuntibhoja and Bhimasena all mighty men of 
arms, in single combat, in the Kaurava battle. It is seen 
that he has got another name, Salakajamka. He was 
killed by Ghatotkaca in the battle. (M.B. Drona 
Parva, Chapter 109, Stanzas 22 to 33). 

ALAMBUSA II. Another king on the side of the Kaura- 
vas. Satyaki killed this king. (Mahabharata, Drona 
Parva, Chapter 140, Stanza 13). 

ALAMBUSA III. A king of the Raksasas. It is seen that 
this Alambusa was defeated and driven away from the 
bat'le-ficld by Arjuna. (Drona Parva, Chapter 167, 
Stanzas 37 to 47). 

ALAMBUSA IV. A giant, the son of Jatasura. Ghatot- 
kaca killed this giant in the battle. 

ALAMBUSA. A celestial woman born (o Kasyapa by 
his wife Pradha. 

1) Genealogy. Begins from Visnu in the following 
order: Brahma-Ka^yapa-Alambusa. 

2) How she enticed the hermit Dadhica. In days of yore 
there was an ascetic named Dadhica. He began doing 
tapas on the bi.nk of the river Sarasvatl. Indra was in 
consternation. Indra sent this celestial maid Alambura 
to entice the hermit. When the ascetic got down to the 
river, Alambusa approached him with enticing actions 
and expressions. When the hermit saw her he became 
passionate and he had seminal flow. The sperm fell 
into the river. The river became pregnant and delivered 
a child in due course. He was called Sarasvata. 
Alambusa brought the child before Dadhica, who blessed 
the child and said that there would be a drought in the 
country continuously for twelve years and that at that 
juncture Sarasvata would recite passages from the 
Scripture to the Brahmins who had forgotten them. The 
much pleased Sarasvatl and Sarasvata went back. 

At that time Indra lost his Vajrayudha (weapon of 
thunderbolt) somewhere. The Asuras (enemies of 
Gods) made an onslaught on the gods and their realm. 
Indra knew that with a weapon made by the bone of 
Dadhica the Asuras could be destroyed. Indra asked the 
Gods to bring the bone. They came down to the earth 
and requested Dadhica to give them a bone. Dadhica 
giving his bone died and attained heaven. With his 
bones Indra made a good deal of weapons such as the 
Vajrayudha, wheel weapons, maces and sticks and with 
them Indra slew all the Daityas (Asuras). 
After this there was a great famine in the country. As 
there was no rain, crops failed and lands became dry and 
the Brahmins left the country. Sarasvata alone remained 
with his mother. After twelve years the famine and 
starvation came to an end. By then the Brahmins had 
forgotten the hymns and mantras of the Vedas. They 
approached the boy Sarasvata and renewed their me- 
mory. (Mahabharata, Salya Parva, Chapter 51). 
3) Punarjanma (Rebirth}. Long ago Indra went to 
Brahma. There was one Vasu called Vidhuma also with 
Indra. When these two were standing near Brahma, 
Alambusa also came there to pay homage to Brahma. 
The garments she had on were displaced by wind. 
Vidhuma saw the dazzling beauty of her body and was 
overpowered by libido. Alambusa who understood 
this, was filled with passion for him. Brahma who saw 
the changes in them looked at Indra with displeasure. 
Indra knowing the mind of Brahma cursed them: "Both 
of you who have lost meekness shall become human be- 




ings and then your desire will be fulfilled". Owing to 
the curse Vidhuma was born as Sahasranlka, the illus- 
trious King of Candra varriia (Lunar dynasty) and 
Alambusa took birth as Mrgavati, the daughter ol King 
Krtavarma and his wife Kaiavatl. (Kathasaritsagara, 
Kathamukhalambaka, Taraiiga 1 ) . 

4 ) The curse of Tilottama. Sahasranlka the incarnation 
of Vidhuma and Mrgavati the incarnation of Alambusa 
fell in love with each other on the earth also. Before 
the wedding took place Devendra once invited Sahasra- 
nlka to heaven. He lived there for a time as the guest 
of the Gods. After having defeated the Asuras it was 
time for him to return. Indra sent Tilottama to keep 
company. The charioteer was driving. Sahasranlka 
immersed in the thought of Mrgavati was sitting silent. 
Tilottama said something which the King did not hear. 
Tilottama cursed him that he would be separated for 
fourteen years from the object about which he was 
thinking. He was not even aware of the curse. 

5) The period of separation. The King returned to 
Kausambi his capital cit>. Without much delay the 
wedding ceremony also was conducted. She became 
pregnant. One day she told her lover-husband that she 
had a desire to dip in a blood pond. The King made a 
pond and filled it with a solution of Laksa (wax, when 
dissolved in water, the water will look like blood) and 
such other substances. Mrgavati was dipping and splash- 
ing in it when an eagle taking her to be a piece of flesh 
took her away. At the loss of his wife Sahasranlka lost 
his senses and fell down unconscious. Immediately 
Ma tali, Indra's charioteer, came down from the realm of 
Gods and brought the King back to consciousness, and 
then informing him of the curse of Tilottama he returned. 
Without paying any heed to the consolatory words of 
his ministers or other inmates of the palace the King 
went on lamenting and moaning, "ha, my love Mrga- 
vati ! Where are you now ?" and waited for the end of 
the period of the curse, execrating Tilottama. Casting 
Mrgavati on the Mountain of the Rising Sun the great 
bird flew away. The horror-stricken queen, thinking of 
hei present condition cried aloud. A very large mountain 
snake began to draw near to swallow her. A divine 
person saved her from that situation and vanished. The 
unprotected Mrgavati decided to commit suicide. It 
was a forest which abounded in lions, tigers, bears and 
such other ferocious animals. But none of them came 
near her ; over and above the exertion of carrying, she 
had to bear the difficulties of her forlorn condition, and 
she grew weary and worn and became unconscious. 
Then a hermit boy came there and questioned her who 
was now lean and ill-dressed, about her condition and 
consoling her guided her to the hermitage of the great 
hermit Jamadagni. When she saw the hermit who was 
as radiant as the Sun, she bowed low before him. "My 
daughter ! Don't fear. You will get a heroic son here who 
will continue your family. You will be reunited to your 
husband." Said the great and noble hermit, who could 
foresee the future. Somewhat pacified Mrgavati lived 
in that hermitage waiting for reunion with her husband. 
After some days she gave birth to a son who had all the 
symptoms of greatness. At the birth of the child Mrga- 
vati heard an unknown voice saying, "This boy would 
become the great and renowned King Udayana. His son 
would get the leadership of the Vidyadharas(the musi- 
cians of the Gods)". At this the queen was immensely 

pleased. The boy Udayana grew up in the hermitage, 
an incarnation of all good qualities. The heimit to whom 
the past, the present and the future were not obscure, 
periormed the necessary rites and rituals becoming a 
Ksatriya boy (Ruling caste) and taught him everything 
including the Dhanurveda (the Science of Archery). 
As a token of her intense love for the son, she put a bangle 
with the name of Sahasranlka inscribed on the arm of 
Udayana. One day when Udayana was tramping the 
forest, he saw a snake-charmer catching a snake. Seeing 
the beauty of the snake he asked the snake-charmer to let 
the snake free. But the snake-charmer replied, " Oh 
Prince, this is my daily bread. I earn my livelihood by 
exhibiting snakes. My previous snake was dead and it 
was with the help of a good deal of herbs and spells and 
incantations that I caught this one". 
When he heard this Udayana felt pity for him and gave 
the bangle to the snake-charmer and let the snake free. 
When the snake-charmer had gone with the bangle, 
the snake beaming with joy said to Udayana: "I am 
Vasunemi, the elder brother of Vasuki. I am grateful to 
you for giving me freedom. I give you this lute producing 
exquisite notes of music, betels and some tricks to pre- 
pare never fading garlands and paste to make marks on 
the forehead. Receive them as my presents". Udayana 
accepted the presents with gladness and returned more 
luminous than before to the hermitage of Jamadegni. 
The snake-charmer took the bangle, given by Udayana 
to the bazar for sale. The police caught him and took 
him before the King, because they saw the name of the 
King inscribed on the bangle. The King asked him how 
he got the bangle and the snake-charmer told the King 
the story from the catching of the snake till he got the 
bangle- "This is the bangle that I put on the arm of my 
wife. The boy who gave this bangle to this snake-charmer 
must be my son." The King was thinking with sadness, 
when the King heard a voice from above say, "O King ! 
the period of the curse is over. Your wife and son are 
in the Mountain of the Rising Sun". At these words the 
King felt extreme joy. Somehow or other he spent the 
rest of the day. Early the next morning the King follow- 
ed by his army, went to the Mountain of the Rising Sun 
to bring back his wife and son. They took the snake- 
charmer to show them the way. 

In due course the King and his train reached the holy 
hermitage of the eminent hermit Jamadagni. The place 
was always vibrant with sounds of the repeating and reci- 
tation of the Holy scriptures and covered with smoke 
mingled with the fragrance of burning herbs and other 
oblations burned in the sacrificial fire. The various wild 
animals which are born enemies of each other got on 
amicably there. The hermit who was an incarnation of 
the higher aspirations greeted the King who was the 
protector of the ascetics, with the hospitality becoming 
his status. The King who saw Mrgavati with their son 
was overcome with gladness. Their reunion caused a 
shower of Ambrosia (Amrta). The King stood before 
the hermit with folded arms and bowed head for per- 
mission to depart. To the King the hermit Jamadagni 
said : "Oh, King, you are welcome to this hermitage. 
To those such as you who are of the 'Rajogunapradhana' 
caste (Ruling race) the peaceful atmosphere of our 
hermitage may not be appealing to the heart. But a holy 
hermitage is more respectable than the palace of an 
Emperor. There is no place for unhappiness here. You 


might have known that the reason for your separation 
is a curse. When you were returning from heaven with 
Tilottama, you were so much engrossed in the thought of 
Mrgavati that you did not pay any heed to the conver- 
sation of Tilottama. She was displeased with your be- 
haviour and cursed you. In future, if ever you happen to 
get into a position which will cause you mental trouble 
you can be assured of the presence of this Jamadagni." 
The King said, "I am extremely grateful to your Emi- 
nence for this great boon. I am fully aware of the fact 
that the presence of the holy hermits who have under 
their control the eightfold prosperities, is always a 
harbinger of peace and prosperity. I am very sorry to 
say that the exigency of my presence at the capital due to 
the pressure of work in connection with the luling of the 
country compels me to cut short my visit to this holy 
hermitage. I shall be looking forwaid with pleasure to 
occasions which will enable me to pay visits to this Holy 

Much pleased at the speech of the King the hermit said 
to Mrgavati: "My daughter ! Not only myself, but all 
the inmates of this hermitage are highly pleased at 
having got you in our midst for so long. We are sorry to 
part from you. Now look ! the animals of the hermitage 
are standing round you and shedding tears. Still we are 
consoled at your reunion with your husband. Naturally 
you are of a very good character and your life in this 
hermitage has given you a nice training and so there is no 
need for any more advice from me at this time." 
Saying this he drew Udayana to his side, kissed him on 
his head and said to the King again : "This son is a deco- 
ration to your dynasty. This handsome boy has been_ 
taught everything becoming a royal prince. Let him be a 
costly gem to you". 

Thus blessing the boy the hermit led him to the King. 
The joy at her reunion with husband, her shyness at 
being near him, her sorrow at having to depart from the 
hermitage and the surging feeling in her mind all 
these made her dumb and so being unable to say any- 
thing she expressed her love and regard for the hermit 
whom she loved as her father, by some motions of her 
body and took leave of him with her son. The blessed 
King and his tram, looking at the men, beasts and birds 
which accompanied them for a while, took leave of them 
and proceeded to the capital city. On reaching there 
the King anointed his son Udayana as King. Sahasra- 
nika then went to the Himalayas to practise ascesis with 
his wife. (Kathasaritsagara, Kathamukhalambaka, 
Tarariga 2). 

(b) Enticing Trnabindu. A story is se^n in the Bhaga- 
vata of how Alambusa enticed the King Trnabindu. He 
married Alambusa and a daughter named Idavida 
(IlabiJ'i) was born to them. This Ilabila was married 
to Visravas, to whom a son named Kubera (the Lord of 
wealth) was born By Alambusa Trnabindu had three 
sons called Visala, Sunyabandhu and Dhiimraketu. 
"Tarn bhejelambusa devi 
Varapsarayaste, putrah 
Kanya cedabidabhavat 
Vi-'.rava dhanadarh sutarh 
Pradaya vidyam parama- 


Mrsiryogebvarat pituh 
Visalah sunyabandhu:,ca 
Visalo vaimakrdraja 
VaiSallrh nirmame purim". 

"He who is the seat of all laudable qualities (Trnabindu) 
was honoured by Alambusa (as husband). Idavida 
their daughter was given in marriage to Visravas and 
to them was born Dhanada (Kubera). His father 
who was a great hermit taught him everything required. 
Three sons ViSala, Sunyabandhu and Dhumraketu, 
were born to them. Visala who was the founder of the 
Dynasty, built a city called Vais'li." (Bhagavatam, 
Navama Skandham, Chapter 2, Stanzas 31-33). 
Alambusa took part in the birthday celebration of 

(Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 49) (See 
ALA&KARAGRANTHA. (A book on rhetorics and 

figures of speech). See the word Pattu. 
ALA&KARAVATl. Wife of King Naravahanadatta. It 
is seen in the Kathasaritsagara where a Vidyadhara 
woman tells the story of Alarikaravati to the King. 
Once a vidyadhara named AlarikarasTla ruled over a 
city called Sri Sundarapura in the Himalayas. His wife 
was called Kancanaprabha. A son was born to them. 
They named him Dharmaula because Devi KatyayanI 
told them in a dream that the son would become Dharma- 
para (who performs duties well). To the prince, know- 
ledge in every branch of studies was imparted and then 
he was anointed heir to the throne. He executed regal 
functions to perfection and ruled his subjects better than 
his father. Kancanaprabha, wife of Alarikarasila, gave 
birth to a daughter. At the time of her birth a heavenly 
voice said that she would become the wife of Narava- 
hanadatta the emperor of the Vidyadharas. They named 
her Alarikaravati. She grew into a very beautiful maiden. 
She learned arts and sciences from her father. She went 
on a pilgrimage to the Siva temples far and wide. One 
day she heard a celestial voice: "Go to the Svayambhu 
temple in Kasmira and worship there and you will get 
as your husband Naravahanadatta." Finally Nara- 
vahanadatta the emperor of Vidyadharas married her. 
(Kathasaritsagara, Lambaka 9, Taranga 1). 
ALOLUPA. A son of Dhrtarastra. 

ALPAKALA (M). A short time. (Alpa = short and Kala 
= time). In the Bhagavata the following definition is 
given of alpakala : "Take two tender leaves of a lotus 
and place one on the other. Let a strong man take a 
sharp needle and thrust it hard at the leaves. The time 
taken for the needle to pierce one leaf and reach the 
other is alpakala". [Bhagavata (Malayalam version), 
Skandha 3]. 

ALARKA(M) I. The name of an insect. It was in the 
form of this insect that Indra went and bore a hole on 
the leg of Karna while Para.'turama was sleeping on his 
lap. The blood that flowed from Kama's foot wetted the 
body of the preceptor. 

ALARKA II. A king of the states of Ka$I and Karusa. 
He was a very honest man. Forsaking all riches and his 
kingdom he accepted Dharmamarga. (Sloka 64, Chap- 
ter 115, Anusasana Parva, M.B.). He was a member of 

*Alambusa was the mother of the Celestial maid Kalavati. See the word Thintha Karate. 




the council of yama. He attained salvation by yoga and 
meditation. (18th Sloka, Chapter 8, Sabha Parva, M.B.). 
Once Alarka decided to overcome the five senses. To 
control them he sent arrows at the mind, nose, tongue, 
ear, eye, skin and intelligence. But the senses never 
surrendered to them. Then Alarka by sheer dhyana 
and yoga brought them under control. (M.B., Anu- 
sasana Parva, Chapter 30). 

Alarka once told a blind brahmin boy to ask for any boon 
from him. The boy demanded the eyes of Alarka. To 
keep his promise Alarka scooped out his eyes and gave 
them to the blind boy. (Ramayana, Ayodhya Kanda, 
Sarga, 12, Sloka 43). 

ALATAKSl. A woman in the service of Skanda. (M.B., 
Salya Parva, Chapter 43, Stanza 8). 

ALAYUDHA. A giant. He was the brother of Bakasura. 
He fought on the side of the Kauravas. (M.B., Drona 
Parva, Chapter 95, Stanza 46 and Chapter 1 76, Stanza 6). 
Alayudha combated with Bhimasena and Ghatotkaca 
and was killed by Ghatotkaca. 

AMADHYA. A synonym of Sri Krsna. (M.B., Santi 
Parva, Chapter 342, Verse 90). 

AMAHATHA. A serpent. It was burnt up in the fire at 
the Sarpa satra of Janamejaya. (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 57, Verse 16). 

AMANTHU. A king of the family of Priyavrata. 

Genealogy. From Visnu descended in this order : 
Brahma-Svayambhuva Manu - Priyavrata - Aglndhra- 
Nabhi-Rsabha - Bharata - Sumati - Devatljit - Deva- 
dyumna - Paramesti - Pratiha - Pratiharta - Bhuma - 
Sita - Prastoka - Vibhu - Prthusena - Nakta - Gaya - 
Citraratha - Samrat - Marici - Vinduman - Madhu - 
Vlravrata - Amanthu. Vlravrata had two sons, Manthu 
and Amanthu. 

AMARACANDRA. A Sanskrit poet. It is believed that 
he lived in the 13th Cent. A.D. Bala Bharata was his 
work. Amaracandra was a Jaina priest. It is said that 
he was a courtier of Visaladeva, the son of King Vira- 
dhavala who ruled over Gujarat from 1243 to 1262. 

AMARAGUPTA. He was the minister of King Vikrama- 
sirhha who ruled over Avanti in olden times. (Katha- 
saritsagara, Madana Man cuka lambaka, First Taraiiga ) . 

AMARAHRADA. A place of holy bath. One who takes 
his bath here will attain Svarga. (M.B., Vana Parva, 
Chapter 83, Verse 106). 

AMARAKAIVTAKA. A mountain. It was on this 
mountain that some parts of Tripura, which was burnt 
by Siva fell- From that time it became a holy place. In 
Padma Purana, Adi Khanda, Chapter 15, we see the 
following passage about the benefits obtained by visit- 
ing this holy place. "One who goes to Amarakantaka 
mountain will enjoy the fourteen worlds for thirtyseven 
thousand crores of years. Afterwards he will be born on 
earth as King and reign as supreme emperor. A visit to 
Amarakantaka has ten times the value of an A^vamedha. 
If one has Siva's darsana there, one will attain Svarga. 
At the time of eclipse, all kinds of holy things converge 
towards Amarakantaka. Those who take their bath in 
Jvalesvara in Amarakantaka will enter Svarga. The 
dead will have no rebirth. Those who renounce their 
lives at Jvalesvara will live in Rudraloka till the time of 
great Deluge. In the valley of Amarakantaka and in the 
Tirtha live D^vas known as Amiras and numerous Rsis. 
Amarakantaka Ksetra has a circumference of one yojana. 
(about eight miles). 

AMARAPARVATA. An ancient place in Bharata. 
Nakula had conquered this place. (M.B., Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 32, Verse 11). 

AMARAVATl. It is the city of Indra, the King of the 
Devas. Its location is described in Devi Bhagavata as 
follows: "Brahma's world extends over 10,000 yojanas 
on the Mahameru mountain. There are eight cities 
each 2,500 square yojanas in extent of the Astadik- 
palakas in eight parts of this Brahmapuii. Thus there are 
nine cities on the top of the Maha Meru. They are the 

1. In the centre is Brahma's city, Manovatl. 

2. To the east of Manovatl, Indra's city, Amaravatl. 

3. In the south-east corner, Agni's city, Tejovati. 

4. On the southern side, Yama's city, Samyamani. 

5. In the south-west corner, Nirrti's city, Krsnanjana. 

6. In the west, Varuna's city, Sraddhavatl. 

7. In the north-west corner, Vayu's city, Gandhavati. 

8. In the north, Kubera's city Mahodaya. 

9. In the north-east corner, Siva's city, Ya:'ovati. 
(Devi Bhagavata, Astama Skandha). 


AMAVASl. In Amarako.'^a we read about AmavasI: 
"Amavasya tvamavasya daiSah suryendusamgamah". 
AmavasI means New Moon. "Ama" means "Saha". 
So AmavasI is the Union of Sun and Moon in the same 

Once Bhrgu Maharsi cursed Agni. At that time Agni 
explained the importance of AmavasI. The oblations 
which ate offered as homa into the fire become the food 
of the Devas and Pitrs. Substances offered as homa on 
PurnamasI become food of the Devas and those offered 
on AmavasI become food of the Pitrs. (M.B., Adi 
Parva, Chapter 7). 

AMAVASU I. Son of Pururavas by UrvasT. (M.B., 
Adi Parva, Chapter 75, Verse 24). 
Genealogy. From Visnu, Biahma-Atri-Candra-Budha- 
Pururavas-Amavasu . 

AMAVASU II. One of the Pitrs. Once Acchoda was 
fascinated by the physical charm of this Amavasu and 
made advances of love to him. Amavasu repelled her 
advances. On account of this impropriety of Acchoda, 
who was a spiritual daughter of the Pitrs, she was de- 
graded and in her next birth was born as Kali or 
Satyavati. (Padma Puiana, Srsti Kh;nda). 

AMBA. Daughter of a Kng of 

1 ) Ambd and Vicitravir} a. Amba is an ill-starred 
character in the story ol the Maha.bhf.rata. She had 
two younger sisters named Ambika and Ambalika. 
Bhisma,who had taken a vow to remain a bachelor for 
life, had once taken Amb ., Ambika and Ambalika, the 
three daughters of the King of Kail, to Hastinapura. 
The circumstances in which this happened, are descri- 
ed in Devi Bhagavata, Prathama Skandha as follows : 
Santanu, a King of the Candra Varh;:a, had two wives, 
Gaiiga and Satyavati. Bhlsma was the son of Gaiiga 
and Citraiigada and Vicitravirya were the sons of 
Satyavati. Soon after Bhisma's birth, Gaiiga vanished. 
After a long period of reign, Santanu also died. Satya- 
vati and the three sons were left behind in the palace. 
According to a vow he had taken long ago, Bhlsma, 
instead of succeeding to his father's throne, left it to his 
brother Citraiigada. Once Citraiigada went for hunting 
in the forest. There he came across a Gandharva named 
Citrangada. The Gandharva did not like another man 




with his own name to be living in this woild. So he 
killed the king. Alter that Vicitravlrya became king. 
Bhlsma had to take up the task of arranging a suitable 
marriage for Vicitravlrya. 

2) The Svayamvara. It was at this time that Bhlsma 
came to know that the King of Kasi was arranging the 
Svayarhvara of his three daughters, Amba, Ambika and 
Ambalika. Bhlsma went there and in the presence of all 
the kings who had assembled there, took the three 
princesses with him to Hastinapura. There he made all 
preparations for the marriage. But as the time for the 
ceremony approached, the eldest and most beautiful of 
the princesses, Amba went to Bhlsma and said : "I had 
already made up my mind long ago to marry Salva, the 
King. Besides, we are deeply in love with each other. 
Therefore, please consider whether it is proper on the 
part of a great man like you to force me into another 

On hearing this, Bhlsma allowed her to do as she liked. 
Amba then went to King Salva and made an appeal to 
him to accept her as his wife since they were mutually 
in love. 

3) Salva s rejection. To her words Salva replied: 
"What you have said about our mutual love is true. But 
it is not right for a man to accept a woman who has been 
accepted by another. I saw Bhlsma taking you by hand 
and helping you into his chariot. Therefore go at once 
to Bhlsma himself and ask him to accept you." Stunned 
by his words, she turned away, to go to the forest to do 

4) Revenge on Bhisma. In the Mahabharata, Udyoga 
Parva, Chapter 1 7, we find that Amba had cherished a 
secret desire to wreak vengeance on Bhlsma. She went to 
the Asrama of Saikhavatya Muni in the forest and stayed 
there for the night. Her wish to do penance was approv- 
ed by the Muni. On the next day, Amba's maternal 
grandfather, Hotravahana (Srnjaya) came that way. 
Hotravahana came to know of all her misfortunes. He 
advised her to inform Parasurama of all her grievances. 
Just at that moment Akrtavrana, a follower of Para'm- 
rama happened to come there. Hotravahana introduced 
Amba to Akrtavrana. Both Akrtavrana and Srnjaya 
explained all her affairs to Parasurama. Parasurama 
undertook to persuade Bhlsma to accept Amba (as his 
wife). But Para drama's proposal was turned down by 
Bhlsma. A terrible duel took place between them at 
Kuruksetra. When the fight reached a critical stage, 
Narada and the gods induced Parasurama to withdraw 
from the duel. Thus the fight ended with equal victory 
to both. Finding that it was not possible to achieve her 
object through Para-iurama's mediation, Amba re- 
nounced food, sleep etc. and went to the Yamuna valley 
to do penance for six years. (M.B., Udyoga Parva, 
Chapter 188). After that for one year she went on a 
fast, lying under the water in the riv e r Yamuna. Again 
for another year she did penance, standing on the tip of 
the toes and eating only dry leaves. Next, she reduced 
the sky and earth to flames by doing penance. The 
goddess Gariga appeared to her and when she under- 
stood her plight, she told Amba that it was not possible 
to kill Bhlsma. In her agony and despair, without even 
drinking water, she wandered about here and there. 
The goddess Gariga cursed her to become a river in the 
Vatsa country. As a result of the curse, a part of her was 
turned into the river known as Amba. 

5 ) Siva's Boon. The remaining part of her engaged 
itself in penance. Siva appeared to her and told her that 
in the next birth she would attain masculinity. He added 
that she would be born in the Drupada dynasty as a 
great archer under the name of Citrayodhi and kill 
Bhlsma. Pleased with this prophecy, she took a vow that 
she would kill Bhlsma and making a pyre, burnt herself 
to death. 

6) Rebirth. King Drupada's queen had been in great 
distress for a long time because she had no children. 
Drupada propitiated Siva by worshipping him for an 
issue. Siva blessed him and said that a girl would be 
born to him, but she would be transformed into a boy. 
In due course, the queen gave birth to a girl, but it was 
announced that it was a boy. Therefore the child had to 
be brought up, dressed like a boy. The child became 
famous under the name of Sikhandi. When Sikhandl 
attained youth, Drupada decided to look for a wife for 
him (her ?). Still he was greatly perplexed as to how to 
find a wife for Sikhandi who was already a youthful 
virgin ! But his wife assured Drupada that Sikhandi 
would become a man, according to Siva's blessing. So, 
Drupada made a proposal for Sikhandi's marriage with 
the daughter of the King of Da:;arna. 

7) Sikhandi's Marriage. Hiranyavarna, the King of 
Da^arna, gave his daughter in marriage to Sikhandi. 
The couple arrived at Kambalyapura. By this time the 
wife came to know that the "husband" was a woman. 
She disclosed the secret to her Ladies-in-waiting. They 
in turn communicated it to the king. Enraged at this, 
Hiranyavarna sent a messenger to King Drupada to 
ascertain the truth of the matter. He even began to 
make preparations for waging a war against Drupada, 
King of Pancala. Drupada and his queen were in a fix. 
At this stage the distressed Sikhandi proceeded to the 
forest, determined to commit suicide. People were 
afraid of entering that forest because a Yaksa named 
Sthunakarna lived there. Sikhandl went to the premises 
of the Yaksa and performed certain rites for a number of 
days. The Yaksa appeared to her. Sikhandi explained 
the whole matter to him. They entered into a contract. 
According to it, they exchanged their sexes Sikhandi 
receiving the male sex of die Yaksa and the Yaksa receiv- 
ing the female sex of Sikhandi. Sikhandi returned home 
as a man. Drupada repeated with greater force his old 
plea that his child was a man. Hiranyavarna made a 
thorough examination of Sikhandi and convinced him- 
self of the truth. Many years after, Hiranyavarna died. 

8) Kubera's Arrival. At that time, in the course of his 
world tour Kubera arrived at the residence of Sthuna- 
karna. The Yaksa who was in female form, did not 
come out to receive Kubera. In his anger, Kubera 
pronounced a curse that the female sex of Sthunakarna 
and the male sex of Sikhandl would continue for ever. 
The Yaksa prayed for the lifting of the curse. Kubera 
released him from the curse by saying that after the 
death of Sikhandi, the Yaksa would be restored to his 
own male sex. 

According to the previous agreement, Sikhandi went to 
Sthunakarna's place after the death of Hiranyavarna. 
But coming to know of all that had happened, he return- 
ed home. Thus Sikhandi became a man permanently. 
Sikhandi had received his training in arms under Drona- 
carya. In the great Kaurava-Pandava battle, he became 
a charioteer. 


9) Sikhandl's Revenge. The Mahabharata, Bhisma 
Parva, Chapter 108, describes Bhisma's encounter with 
Sikhandi during the Kaurava-Pandava battle. The 
Pandavas started the day's battle by keeping Sikhandi 
in the vanguard. Bhima, Arjuna, Abhimanyu and other 
warriors were giving him support. It was Bhisma who 
led the Kaurava forces. Arrows began to fly from both 
sides. It was the tenth day of the battle and Sikhandi 
shot three arrows aimed at Bhisma's breast. Bhisma 
with a smile of contempt said to Sikhandi, "Sikhandi ! 
Brahma created you as a woman. You may do as you 
like". Hearing this taunt, Sikhandi became more in- 
furiated. Arjuna inspired him with greater courage. 
After that, keeping Sikhandi in front, Arjuna began to 
fight with Bhisma. Sikhandi also showered his arrows 
on him. Ten of these arrows of Sikhandi hit Bhisma's 
breast. Bhisma disregarded even those arrows. At last 
he said: "I cannot kill the Pandavas because they are 
invulnerable (avadhyah). I cannot kill Sikhandi be- 
cause he is really a woman and not man. Though I am 
also invulnerable and cannot be killed in battle, yet 
today I have to die; the time has come forme to die." 
Meanwhile Sikhandi and Arjuna were discharging a 
continuous and heavy shower of arrows at Bhisma. At 
last Bhisma fell down. (M.B., Udyoga Parva, Chapter 

AMBAJANMA. It is a place of sacred bath where the 
sage Narada usually resides. Those who die here will 
attain salvation (Moksa) by Niirada's blessing, accord- 
ing to M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 83, Verse 81. 

AMBALIKA. (1) The youngest of the three daughters 
of the King of Kasl Amba, Ambika and Ambalika. 
Vicitravlrya, son of Santanu married Ambika and 
Ambalika. The mother of this princess was Kausalya. 
2) Pdndus Mother. Vicitravlrya died before children 
were born to his wives. To avoid the extinction of the 
family, Satyavall, mother of Vicitravlrya summoned 
Vyasa, her other son and asked him to beget a son for 
Ambika. Vyasa obeyed his mother half-heartedly. 
Ambika did not like the dark-complexioned, crudely 
attired Vyasa. Still owing to the Mother's pressure, she 
passively submitted to the act. As a result of their union 
was born Dhrtarastra, who was blind from his birth. The 
grief-stricken mother called Vyasa again and asked him 
to have union with Ambalika this time. As Ambalika's 
face was pale at the time of their union, a child with 
pale complexion was born to her. He was named Pandu. 
Having thus failed in both attempts, SatyavatI asked 
Ambika to go to Vyasa again. At night Ambika secretly 
disguised her waiting-maid and sent her in her own 
place, to Vyasa. The waiting-maid experienced exquisite 
pleasure in Vyasa's company and as a result a most 
intelligent son was born to her. It was he who became 
the renowned Vidura. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 106). 

AMBARlSA I. A King of the Iksvaku dynasty. 

1 ) Genealogy and Birth. From Visnu was born in the 
following order : Brahma-Marici-Kasyapa. - Vivasvan- 
Vaivasvatamanu-Iksvaku-Vikuksi - Sasada - Puranjaya- 
Kukutstha-Anenas-Prthulasva-Prasenajit - Yuvanasva- 
Mandhata-Ambarlsa. Mandhata had three sons: Amba- 
rlsa, Mucukunda and Purukutsa and fifty daughters. 


The Muni (Sage) Saubhari married the daughters. 

2) Ambarisa's Taga ( sacrifice) . In Valmlki Ramayana 
there is a story of Devendra's theft of the sacrificial 
cow from Ambarlsa's yagasala. Devendra could not 
bear the thought of King Ambarlsa winning world- 
renown and glory by performing yagas. Therefore Indra 
stole the sacrificial cow and took it away. The Upa- 
dhyaya ( Chief Priest ) was alarmed at the disappear- 
ance of the cow and expressed his opinion to the King 
that it would be enough to sacrifice a human being in- 
stead of the cow. The King searched for the cow in all 
countries, cities and forests. At last he reached the 
peak of Bhrguturiga where the sage Rcika lived with 
his wife and children. The King explained to the sage 
the whole story. He requested him to sell one of his sons 
in exchange for 100,000 cows. Rcika had three sons. 
The eldest was his father's favourite and the youngest 
was the mother's pet. In the end, Rcika sold the second 
son, SunaSsepha in return for 100,000 cows. 

On his return journey with Sunassepha the king rested 
for a while at Puskara Tlrtha. There Sunassepha 
happened to meet his uncle Visvamitra and complain- 
ed to him about his sad plight. Sunassepha's wish was 
that the king's yaga should be performed and at the same 
time his own life-span should be extended. Visvamitra 
promised to save Sunassepha. He called Madhu- 
cchandas and his other sons and said to them : "One of 
you must take the place of Ambarlsa's sacrificial cow 
and save the life of Sunassepha. God will bless you." 
But none of the sons of Visvamitra was prepared to 
become the sacrificial cow. Visvamitra uttered a curse 
on his sons that they would have to spend a thousand 
years on earth, eating dog-flesh. Then he turned to 
Sunaisepha and told him that if he prayed to the gods 
at the time of Ambarlsa's yajfla, they would save him. 
So Sunassepha went to Ambarlsa's yagasala. As 
ordered by the assembled guests, Ambarlsa bound 
Sunassepha and had him dressed in blood-red robes, 
ready for the sacrifice. Sunassepha began to praise and 
pray to the gods. Soon Indra appeared and blessed him 
with longevity. He also rewarded Ambarlsa for his 
yaga. Thus Sunassepha was saved. * (Valmiki Rama- 
yana Bala Kanda, Sarga 61). 

3) Ambarifa and Durvdsas. In Bhagavata we see a story 
which describes how the Sudarsana Cakra which emerg- 
ed from Ambarlsa's forehead chased Durvasas in all 
the three worlds. Ambarlsa was a devout worshipper of 
Visnu. From the very beginning of his reign, peace and 
prosperity spread all over the country. Mahavisnu 
who was pleased with the deep piety and devotion of 
Ambarlsa appeared to him and bestowed on him the 
control of his (Visnu's) Sudarsana Cakra. After that 
Ambarlsa 'started the observance of EkadasI vrata. 
The rigour of the observance alarmed even Indra. He 
decided to obstruct the observance somehow or other. At 
that time, Durvasas arrived in devaloka. Indra insti- 
gated Durvasas to spoil the EkadasI observance of 

Durvasas went to Ambarlsa's palace. There the King 
received him with due respect and sent him to the river 
Kalindi for his bath and morning rites. Durvasas went 

* The story of SunasseDha may be seen with slight variations in the Devi Bhagavata and other Puranas. In those versions, Sunassepha 
has been described as the sacrificial cow at Hariscandra's yaga, and moreover, Ajigarta is referred to as the father of Sunassepha. (Brahmanda 
Parana, Chapter 58 gives the same story as in Valmiki Ramayana) . 




for his bath and deliberately stayed away till the con- 
clusion of Ambarlsa's Ekiidail observance. At the end 
of the observance, after feeding the gods with his 
) la'-;., - \inbarisa kept the remaining portion for 
Durvasas. After his bath etc., Durvasas returned, but 
he was furious when he was offered the leavings of the 
food of the gods and refused to take any food. In his 
anger he advanced towards Ambarisa. A terrible mons- 
ter Krtya. emanated from the Maharsi and was about 
to destroy Ambarlsa. Ambarlsa at once called upon 
Sudarsana Cakra, which appeared instantly and after 
cutting the throat of Krtya, turned against Durvasas. 
Terrified by it, Durvasas began to flee for life. The 
Cakra pursued him at his heels. Durvasas went to Indra 
and sought refuge with him. But the Cakra followed 
him there. Indra pleaded helplessness. Then the 
Maharsi went to Brahma and sued for his help. There 
also the Cakra pursued him. Brahma sent him to Siva. 
Siva was also unable to give him shelter. Sudarsana con- 
tinued to chase him. Durvasas then sought shelter with 
Mahavisnu. Visnu told him plainly that there was 
no alternative but to go and sue for mercy to Amba- 
rlsa himself and advised him to do so. At last Durvasas 
returned to Ambarlsa and begged his pardon. Ambarlsa 
saved him from Sudarsana Cakra and described to him 
the glory resulting from the observance of Ekadasi 
vrata. (Bhagavata, Navama Skandha) . 
4) Other Details (1) Ambarisa performed a yaga in 
the Yamuna valley. (M.B.,Adi Parva, Chapter 1, Verse 
277; Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 6; Vana Parva, 
Chapter 129, Verse 2). 

(2) Maharsi Durvasas recalled Ambarisa's power. 
(M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 263, Verse 33). 

(3) The Sage Vyasa once told Dharmaputra that 
Ambarisa was one of the 16 great kings who lived in 
ancient times. The 16 reputed Kings were : Marutta, 
Suhotra, Paurava, Sibi, Sri Rama, Bhaglratha, Dilipa, 
Mandhata, Yayati, Ambarisa, Sasabindu, Gaya, Ranti- 
deva, Bharata, Prthu and Parasurama. (M.B., Drona 
Parva, Chapter 64). 

(4) Ambarlsa fought single-handed against thousands 
of Kings. (M.B., Drona Parva, Chapter 64). 

(5) He performed one hundred yagas. (M.B., Drona 
Parva, Chapter 64) . 

(6) Ambarisa once questioned Indra about his (Amba- 
risa's) army Chief Sudeva becoming more mighty 
than himself. (M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 98, Verses 

(7) Ambarisa gave 110 crores of cows to the Brahmins. 
(M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 234, Verse 23). 

(8) Ambarisa was also among the Munis who committ- 
ed theft of Agastya's lotuses. (M.B., AnuSasana Parva, 
Chapter 94, Verse 24) . 

(9) Besides giving cows to Brahmins, Ambarisa gave 
them the country also.(M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 
137, Verse 8). 

AMBARlSA II. When Balabhadrarama entered the 
lower world (Patala) after death, among the Nagas 
who welcomed him, there was one called "Ambarisa". 
(M.B., Mausala Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 16). 

AMBASTHA I. King Srutayu, who belonged to the party 
of the Kauravas was the ruler of Ambastha land and 
so he was called Ambastha. (M.B., Bhisma Parva, 
Chapter 96, Verses 39-40) . He was killed in the fight 
with Arjuna. (M.B., Drona Parva, Chapter 93, Verses 

60-69) . 

AMBASTHA II. There was a hero called Ambastha 
among the warriors on the side of the Pandavas. (M.B., 
Drona Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 50). He fought 
against King Cedi who was on the side of the Kauravas 
and in the fight King Ccdi fell. 

AMBASTHA III. See the word "VAR1VJA". 

AMBASTHAM. A region in ancient India. It is believ- 
ed that it was to the north of Sindlia (M.B., Sabha 
Parva, Chapter 37, Verse 7) . 

AMBHORUHA. A son of Sage Visvamitra. (M.B., Anu- 
sasana Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 59). 

AMBIKA I. Elder sister of Ambalika. (See AMBA- 

AMBIKA II. Another name of Parvati. (Agni Purana, 
Chapter 12). 

AMBUMATl. A river. (M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 83, 
Verse 56). 

AMBUVAHINI. A river. (M.B., Bhisma Parva, Chapter 
9, Verse 27) . Praising this river at dawn and dusk will 
bring divine grace. (M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 
165, Verse 20). 

AMBUVlCA. One of the Kings of Magadha. He had a 
minister named Mahakarni. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 
203, Verses 17-19). 

AMHU. An Asura in the period of the Rgveda. This 
Asura had been doing much harm to the hermits. 
Purukutsa was the hermit whom he tormented most. 
Indra vanquished this Asura and destroyed seven of 
his cities. (Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 11, Sukta 
63, Khanda 7). 

AMITADHVAJA. A Raksasa. ( M.B., Santi Parva, Chap- 
ter 227, Verse 50). 

AMITAUJA. A mighty Ksatriya King of the Paficala 
kingdom. He was born from the element of a Raksasa 
named Ketuman. Before the Pandavas went to war, they 
had sent an invitation to him. He was one of the distin- 
guished royal allies of the Pandavas. (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 67, Verse 12; Udyoga Parva, Chapter 4, 
Verse 12; Udyoga Parva, Chapter 71, Verse 11). 
, AMITRAJIT. A King. In his country there were innu- 
merable Siva temples. Narada Muni who was delighted 
by this sight, went to the Palace and said to Amitrajit: 
"In the city of Campakavati there is a Gandharva 
virgin named Malayagandhinl. She has been abducted 
by Karikalaketu, a Raksasa. She has promised to marry 
the person who will rescue her from him. Therefore 
please save her from the Raksasa." As suggested by 
Narada Amitrajit killed Kankalaketu in battle and 
recovered Malayagandhinl and married her. Vira was 
their son. (Skanda Purana). 

AMOGHA I. A Yaksa who accompanied Siva when the 
latter once went on a journey to Bhadravata. (M.B., 
Vana Parva, Chapter 231, Verse 35). 

AMOGHA II. This name has been used as a synonym of 
Skanda. (M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 232, Verse 5) . 

AMOGHA III. A synonym of Siva. (M.B., Anusasana 
Parva, Chapter 17, Verse 114). 

AMOGHA IV. A synonym of Visnu. (M.B., Anusasana 
Parva, Chapter 149, Verse 25) . 

AMOGHA(M). An Agni which originated from Brhas- 
pati's family. (M.B., Vana Parva Chapter 222, Verse 

AMOGHA. Santanu Maharsi's wife. Once Brahma 
visited Santanu Maharsi's Asrama. As the Maharsi was 




not at home, it was Amogha who received the guest 
with due reverence. Fascinated by the irresistible 
charm of Amogha, Brahma had an involuntary emis- 
sion of seminal fluid. He felt ashamed of his own weak- 
ness and left the Asrama immediately. The Maharsi 
who returned to the Asrama soon after, came to know 
from his wife whose semen it was. He asked Amogha to 
accept Brahma Deva's precious semen and not to let it 
be wasted. Being a devoted wife, she accepted it, but 
unable to bear the divine pregnancy, she deposited it 
in the water lying in the valley of the Yugandhara 
mountain. From that time, it became a place of holy 
bath, known as Lohita. It was by bathing in this holy 
water that Parasurama washed away his sin of annihi- 
lating the Ksatriyas. (Padma Purana, Srsti Khanda, 55) . 
AMPITTA. A name for barbers. 'Ampitta' is derived from 
the Sanskrit word "Ambisthah". The word Ambisthah 
means Physician. In olden days barbers were physicians 
also. Going about from house to house, they could easily 
practise both these professions. Since barbers practised 
physic also they were called Ambisthas. Ampitta is a 
corrupted form of Ambistha. (Dravidian Philology) . 
Barbers sometimes style themselves as "Pandits". It 
is on the basis of this that we have today, "All Kerala 
Pandit Sabha" and other similar names. There is a 
legend on the basis of which this community has assum- 
ed the title of "Pandit". 

Long ago when Sri Buddha was about to go to the 
forest for performing Tapas, thousands of people flocked 
together to have his darsana. Buddha wished to continue 
his journey after shaving his head. Buddha asked loudly 
whether anyone in the crowd was prepared to shave 
his head. Only a single man came forward cheerfully to 
do that work. Buddha turned to him and said: "My 
dear friend, you are the only Pandit in this crowd. You 
have the wisdom to understand that there is nothing 
disgraceful in shaving one's head." 
He shaved Buddha's head. From that day his descen- 
dants _came to be known as "Pandits". 
AMRTA. Daughter of a King of Magadha. She was the 
wife of Anasva and mother of Pariksit. (M.B., Adi 
Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 41) . 

AMRTAM. A delicious and precious food obtained from 
the ocean of Milk when the Devas and Asuras churned 
it. In Chapter 152 of Agni Purana, the word "Mrtam" 
is defined as wealth received by begging and "Amrtam" 
as wealth received without begging, and "Pramrtam" 
as another kind of wealth obtained without begging. 
1) Cause of Ksirabdhi-mathanam. (Churning of the Sea 
of Milk) Once when Maharsi Durvasas was travelling 
through a forest, he met the Apsara woman, Menaka, 
with a garland of Kalpaka flowers in her hand. The 
fragrance of the flowers filled the whole forest. Durvasas 
approached Menaka and requested her to give the gar- 
land to him. The Vidyadharl (Apsara woman) prostrat- 
ed before the Maharsi with reverence and presented 
the garland to him. Wearing that garland on his hair, 
Durvasas went to devaloka. 

There he saw Indra riding on his elephant, Airavata, 
accompanied by his retinue of Devas. The Maharsi took 
the rare garland from his head and presented it to 
Indra, the King of Devas. Indra received the garland 
and placed it on Airavata's head. The elephant was 
attracted by the fragrance of the garland and took it in 

its trunk, examined it by smelling it and then threw it 
on the ground. 

Durvasas, who became angry at the way in which his 
garland was slighted by Indra said to him: "Since 
you have treated my garland with disrespect, the gJory 
and prosperity of devaloka will perish !" On hearing 
the curse, Indra alighted from the elephant, frightened. 
He begged pardon of the Maharsi. The fuiious Muni 
continued: "I am not soft-hearted; nor am I of a for- 
giving nature. Other Munis may forgive. Remember, I 
am Durvasas. You have become so haughty because 
other Munis like Vasistha and Gautama have been flat- 
tering you too much." Having said this Durvasas went 
his way. Indra returned to Amaravatl. 
From that day the glory of devaloka began to decline. 
The three worlds became dull. Even the plants and 
shrubs began to wither. The performance of yagas came 
to an end. The Devas began to be affected by the 
infirmities of old age. Taking advantage of this situation, 
the Asuras started preparations for opposing the Devas. 
Under the oppression of the Asuras, the Devas groaned 
in distress. Led by Agni Deva they sought refuge under 
Brahma. Brahma led them to Mahavisnu. They all join- 
ed in praising Visnu who appeared and told them like 
this: "O Gods ! I shall enhance your glory. Do as I 
tell you. Along with the Asuras bring all kinds of medi- 
cinal herbs and deposit them in the ocean of Milk. 
Obtain Amrtam from it by churning it with Mahameru 
as the churning staff and Vasuki as the rope. The 
Amrtam (Amrta) which will be produced by churning 
the Milk sea, will make you strong and deathless. I 
shall see that the Asuras will share in your troubles but 
not in enjoying Amrtam." 

2) Churning of the Milk Sea. After Visnu had vanished, 
the Devas made a treaty with the Asuras and began to 
work for getting Amrtam. All of them joined together 
in bringing various kinds of medicinal herbs and after 
putting them in the Milk sea which was as clear as the 
cloudless sky, began to churn it, using Manthara Moun- 
tain as the churning staff and snake Vasuki as the rope. 
The party of Devas was posted at the tail-end of Vasuki 
while the Asuras took their stand at the head. The 
Asuras became enervated by the fiery breath coming out 
of Vasuki's mouth. The clouds which were blown by 
that breath invigorated the Devas. 

Mahavisnu transformed himself into a tortoise, and 
sitting in the middle of the Milk Sea served as the 
foundation for the Manthara Mountain, the churning 
staff. Assuming another form, invisible both to Devas 
and Asuras, Mahavisnu pressed down the Manthara 
Mountain from above. 

While churning the Milk Sea like this, the first object 
that rose to the surface was Kamadhenu. Both Devas 
and Asuras were strongly attracted towards Kamadhenu 
While all were standing spellbound, VarumdevI with 
her enchanting dreamy eyes next appeared on the sur- 
face. Parijatam was the third to appear. Fourth, a group 
of Apsara women of marvellous beauty floated up. The 
Moon appeared as the fifth. Siva received the Moon. 
The venom which came out of the Milk Sea as the 
sixth item, was absorbed by Nagas. After that arose 
Bhagavan Dhanvantari, dressed in pure white robes 
and carrying a Kamandalu in his hand filled with 
Amrtam. All were delighted at this sight. Next Maha- 
laksmi made her appearance in all her glory with a 




lotus in her hand and seated in an open lotus flower. 
Gandharvas sang celestial songs in her presence ; 
Apsara women danced. For her bath, the Gariga river 
arrived there with her tributaries. The Milk Sea itself 
took on physical form and offered her a garland of ever- 
fresh lotus flowers. Brahma bedecked her with orna- 
ments. After that Laksmldevi, fully adorned in all her 
magnificent jewels, in the presence of all Devas, joined 
the bosom of Mahavisnu. The Asuras were displeased 
at it. They snatched the pot of Amrtam from Dhan- 
vantari and fled away. 

3) How Amrtam was recovered. With the loss of Amrtam, 
the Devas were in a fix. They began to consider how 
the pot of Amrtam could be recovered. Accordingly 
Mahavisnu transformed himself into a celestial virgin, 
Mohini, of extraordinary beauty. She approached the 
Asuras as a shy girl. The Asuras were enchanted by 
her surpassing beauty. They asked her, "Who are 
you ?" Looking down on the ground, Mohini replied: 
"I am the little sister of Dhanvantari. By the time I 
came out of the Milk Sea, the Devas and Asuras had 
already gone. Being lonely I am going about in search 
of a suitable mate." 

On hearing her words, the Asuras began to make 
friends with her one by one, determined not to waste 
this opportunity. They told her that she should distri- 
bute Amrtam to all of them and in the end she should 
marry one of them. Mohini agreed, but added : "All 
of you should close your eyes. I shall serve Amrtam 
to all. He who opens his eyes last, must serve Amrtam 
to me and he will marry me". 

All of them accepted this condition. They sat in front 
of Mohini with closed eyes. In a moment Mohini left 
the place with the pot of Amrtam and went to deva- 

4) Rdhu's neck is cut. When the Asuras opened their 
eyes, Mohini was not to be seen. Finding that they 
were betrayed, they were in great perplexity. All of 
them pursued Mohini to devaloka. Devas had put 
the Sun and Moon gods on guard duty at the gates 
of devaloka. At the instance of the Asuras, Rahu in 
disguise entered the divine assembly chamber. The , 
Sun and Moon gods detected him and Visnu with his 
weapon, Sudarsana Cakra cut open his neck. Swearing 
that he would wreak vengeance on the Sun and Moon 
Rahu returned. In the 8th Skandha of Bhagavata it is 
said that even now from time to time Rahu swallows 
the Sun and Moon, but they escape through the open 
gash in his neck and this is known as solar eclipse and 
lunar eclipse. 

5) Defeat of the Asuras. Indra and all other gods took 
Amrtam. The enraged Asuras attacked the gods, who 
had gained strength and vigour by taking Amrtam. 
The Asuras were driven away in all directions. All the 
three worlds began to enjoy glory and prosperity again. 

6) Kalakuta. The story of how the deadly poison, 
Kulakiita arose at the churning of the ocean of Milk, 
is given in M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 18, Verses 42-45, 
as follows : After many precious things had come up 
Kalakuta poison with fumes and flames, appeared on 
the surface of the ocean. Its strong smell caused a 
stupor in all the three worlds. Fearing that the world 
will perish, Brahma requested Siva to swallow that 
poison. Siva gulped it down, but stopped it in his 
throat. From that day he became "Nilakantha". 

7) The story of Airdvata. Indra's tusker Airavata was 
responsible for the churning of the ocean of Milk. But 
in the Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 18, Verse 42 
it is said that a white elephant with four tusks arose 
during the churning of the ocean of Milk and that 
Dcvendra caught and tamed it. This is an obvious 
contradiction. Besides, in Valmlki Ramayana, Aranya- 
kanda, 14th Sarga, the wounded Jatayu describing his 
family history to Sri Rama, gives the following account 
about the origin of Airavata : 

Kasyapa, one of the Prajapalis, married the eight 
daughters of Daksa. One of them named Krodhavasa 
had ten daughters by Kasyapa. They were: Mrgi, Mrga- 
mada, Hari, Bhadramada., Mataiigl, Sarduh, Sveta, 
Surabhi, Surasa and Kadru. Of them Bhadramada 
gave birth to a daughter, Iravati. The tusker Airavata 
is Iravati's son. 

An explanation for this discrepancy may be seen in 
Visnu Purana, 3rd Section, Chapter 1. Now six 
Manvantaras have passed (See 'MANVANTARA') . 
This is the seventh Manvantara. Each Manvantara 
has a new Indra. According to this, different Indras 
have their own Airavatas. This is the only explanation 
for this apparent contradiction. 

8) Amrtam and Garuda. There is another story about 
Amrtam which says that Garuda once went to deva- 
loka and brought Amrtam from there to be given to 
the Nagas, but Devendra came down and took it back. 
This story is given in Mahabharata from Chapter 27 
onwards. Vinata, a wife of Kasyapa gave birth to 
Garuda and Kadru and her sister gave birth to the 
Nagas. Once there was a dispute between Vinata and 
Kadru. Vinata said that the hairs on the tail of Uccai- 
sravas, Devendra's horse, were white but Kadru 
asserted that they were black. To settle the dispute they 
made a bet. The condition was that the loser must 
become the servant maid of the winner. As instructed 
by Kadru, some of the Nagas went in advance and 
hung down from the tail of Uccaissravas, thus giving the 
false appearance of a tail with black hairs. By this trick 
Vinata lost the bet and had to become Kadru's servant 
maid. As a result of it, the task of looking after Kadru's 
children became Garuda's duty. Kadru told him that 
if he fetched Amrtam from devaloka and gave it to the 
Nagas, she was prepared to release him from the bond- 
age. So Garuda flew up to devaloka, fought with the 
gods and defeated them. He returned with the pot of 
Amrtam and gave it to the Nagas. The Nagas went 
to take their bath after placing the pot on darbha grass 
spread on the floor. Just then Devendra swooped down 
and carried away the pot of Amrtam to devaloka. 
When the Nagas returned after their purifying bath, 
the pot was not to be seen. In their greed they began 
to lick the darbha grass on which the pot was placed. 
The sharp edge of the grass cut their tongues into two. 
This is why the Nagas (snakes) came to have forked 

Amrtam which has been thus recovered after many 
such adventures, is still preserved carefully in devaloka. 
[ (1) M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 17. (2) M.B., Adi 
Parva, Chapter 27, verse 16. (3) M.B. Adi Parva, 
Chapter 30, Verse 2. (4) Valmlki Ramayana, Aranya 
Kanda, 35th Sarga. (5) Visnu Purana, Section 1, 
Chapter 9. (6) Agni Purana, Chapter 152. (7) Bhaga- 
vata, 8th Skandha. (8) Uttara Ramayana.] 




AMSA. A sage of the family of Marlci. 

1) Genealogy. He was descended from Visnu through 
Brahma, Marlci and Kasyapa. 

2) Birth. Marlci was one of the six sons, all rsis, of 
Brahma. These six sons, born parthogenetically of 
Brahma, were : Marlci, Aiigiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha 
and Kratu. Marlci had a son named Kasyapa. Kasyapa 
married the thirteen daughters of Daksa. The eldest of 
them, Aditi, gave birth to twelve sonsDhata, Aryaman, 
Mitra, Sakra, Varuna, Arhsa, Bhaga, Vivasvan, Pusan, 
Savita, Tvasta and Visnu. Arhia is one of these 
twelve sons who have been called the twelve Adityas. 
(See Chapter 65 of Adi Parva of the Mahabharata) . 

3) Events. The Mahabharata says (Sloka 66, Chapter 
123) that Arhsa was present at the time of Arjuna's birth 
when several devas had come there to see the infant. 
In Sloka 34, Chapter 45 of Salya Parva it is said that 
Arhsa was present on the occasion of the Abhiseka of 
Skandadeva. Arhsa is said to have presented to Skanda- 
deva five good warriors : Parigha, Vata, Bhima, 
Dahana and Dahati. 

AMSAPAYA. Name of a priest (Rtvik) qualified to 
officiate at a sacrifice. This priest officiated at the sacri- 
fice (yajna) performed by Brahma at Puskaraksetra. 
(See Chapter 34 of Padma Purana) . 

AMSAVATARA. The incarnation of God on earth is 
called avatara. When the incarnation is only partial, 
that is, when only some of the divine elements incarnate, 
it is called amsavatara (Arhsa = part). Chapters 54 to 
64 of Adi Parva of the Mahabharata give us a list of 
the gods who have incarnated partially. The following 
list of devas and their arhsavataras is based upon the 
account given in the fourth Skandha of Sri MahadevI 
Bhaga vata. 

Name of the god Name of the amsavatara 

1 . Kasyapa Vasudeva 

2. Adisesa Balabhadra 

3. Narayanarsi Sri Krsna 

4. Yamadharma Yudhisthira 

5. Asvimdevas Nakula and Sahadeva 

6. Dharma Vidura 

7. Siva Asvatthama 

8. Gandharvaraja Devaka 

9. Astavasu Bhisma 

10. Marudgana Krpa ; Krtavarma 

1 1 . Aditi Devaki 

12. Nararsi Arjuna 

13. Vayu Bhimasena 

14. Surya Kama 

15. Brhaspati Drona 

16. Varuna Santanu 

17. Marut Virata 

18. Hamsa Dhrtaras(ra 

19. Dvapara Sakuni 

20. Pavaka Dhrstadyumna 

21. Kali Duryodhana 

22. Raksasa Sikhandl 

23. Varuna Drupada 

24. Visvedevas Sons of Pancali 

25. Dhrti Mldrl 

26. Vipracitti Jarasandha 

27. Hayagriva Kesi 

28. Baskala Bhagadatta 

29. Lamba Pralamba 

30. Sanatkumara Pradyumna 

Name of the god 

31. LaksmI 

32. Sidd'hi 

33. Mad 

34. Jaya 

35. Vijaya 

36. Hiranyaksa 

37. Hiranyakasipu 

38. Ravana 

39. Kumbhakarna 

40. Prahlada 

41. Kalanemi 

42. Anuhlada 

43. Khara 

Name of the amsavatara 














(For more details see under the word, AVATARA) . 

AMSUDHANAPATTANA. Name of an ancient to v n in 
North India. Bharata passed through this town while 
going to Ayodhya from Kekaya after Dasaratha's death. 
Valmiki has described this town in the Ramayana in 
this context. 

AMSUMAN. Name of a King belonging to the Solar 
dynasty (Surya Variisa) . 

1 ) Genealogy. Arhsuman was descended from Visnu 
through Brahma-Marlci-Kasyapa-Vivasvan-Vaivasvata- 
manu-Iksvaku-Vikuksi-SaSda-Puranjaya - Kakutstha - 
Anenas-Prthulasva-Prasenajit - Yuvanasva - Mandhata- 
Purukutsa-Trasadasyu-Anaranya - Aryawan - Vasuma- 
candra-RohitasVa - Harita - Cuncu - Sudeva - Bharuka- 

2) Birth. Sagara, a king of the Surya varhsa,( mention- 
ed above) had two wives, Sumati (Vaidarbhl) and 
Kesini (Saiba) by name. Kesini gave birth to a son 
named Asamanjas. Arhsuman was the son of Asamanjas 
and the father of the famous Bhagiratha. (See under 
the title, BHAGlRATHA). 

3) Some other details. Arhsuman was one of the Kings 
who attended the Svayarhvara of Pancali. (Vide 
Sloka 11, Chapter 185 of Adi Parva of the Maha- 
bharata) . 

AJ/lSUMAN II. There is a reference to one Arhsuman 
in the course of the description of the Visvedevas. 

AMSUMAN III. King of Bhoja who was killed by 
Drona in the war at Kuruksetra (Vide Sloka H, 
Chapter 6 ofKarna Parva). 

AMSUMATI. The daughter of the Gandharva King 
named Dramila. Her story is narrated in the Siva 
Purana to illustrate the benefits of performing the Pra- 
dosa-Vrata. Suta expatiates on the importance and 
advantages of Pradosa-Vrata to a number of sages 
in Naimisaranya. King Satyaratha was a scrupulous 
observer of Pradosa-Vrata. Unfortunately he defaulted 
in his observance of the Vrata owing to unavoidable 
circumstances and, after his death, was born again as 
the King of Vidarbha. He was killed in a battle by the 
King of Salva and his wife, pregnant at that time, fled 
to a forest. She gave birth to a son on the bank of a 
river. Then, when she stepped into the river to drink 
some water, she was carried away by a crocodile. Pre- 
sently a Brahmin woman named Usa happened to pass 
that way with her son named Sucivrata. Seeing a new- 
born infant there, that Brahmin woman took him, gave 
him the name, Dharmagupta and brought him up as 
her own son. According to the advice of a pious Brah- 
min named Sandilya, both Sucivrata and Dharmagupta 




started performing Pradosa-Vrata. Lord Siva was pleas- 
ed with them and gave them much wealth. Dharma- 
gupta happened to meet Arhsumatl, daughter of the 
Gandharva King, Dramila, one day in a forest and 
they fell in love with each other. Dramila came to 
know of their love and so gave his daughter in marriage 
to Dharmagupta. As a result of the wealth and power 
which he had acquired by observing strictly Pradosa- 
Vrata Dharmagupta was able to return to Vidarbha, 
defeat King S'.lva and regain his kingdom from him. 

AMURTARAYAS. He was a renowned King of ancient 
Bharata and the father of King Gaya. Amurtarayas 
received a sword from Puru. (M.B., Santi Parva, Chap- 
ter 166, Verse 7 5). 

ANADIPAKA. (See Pancatantra ) . 

ANADHRSTI I. A King of the Puru dynasty. 

1 ) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu thus : Visnu- 
Brahma-Atri-Candra-Budha-Pururavas-Ayus - Nahusa - 
Yayati-Puru-Janamejaya - Pracinvan - Namasyu - Vita- 
bhaya-Sundu-Bahuvidha-Samyati-Rahovadl - Raudras- 


Anadhrsti is a son born to Raudrasva by Misrakesi, an 

Apsar" woman. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Verses 

8-12) . Anadhrsti has two synonyms, Rceyu and Anvag- 


ANADHRSTI II. Verse 58, Chapter 14 of Sabha Parva 
mentions seven great Yadavas. One Anadhrsti is named 
amongst the seven. This Anadhrsji was present at the 
marriage of Abhimanyu at Ipaplavanagara. (M.B., 
Virata Parva, Chapter 72, Verse 22) . There was one 
Anadhrsji also amongst the warriors who encompassed 
Arjuna and Krsna at the battle-field of Kuruksetra. 
(M.B., Udyoga Parva, Chapter 151, Verse 67) . He was 
the son of King Vrddhaksema. Hence he was called 
Varddhaksemi also. 

ANADHRSYA. One of the Kauravas. ( M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 67, Verse 105) . 


ANAGHA I. Son of Vasistfia. He had seven sons, by 
his wife Urja. They were: Rajas, Gotra, Urdhvabahu, 
Savana, Anagha, Sutapas and Sukra. Holy characters, 
they became the saptarsis of the age of the third Manu. 

ANAGHA II. was a Gandharva. He participated in the 
birthday celebrations of Arjuna. (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 122, Verse 5o). 

ANAGHA III. A king called Anagha is referred to in 
Verse 22, Chapter 8 of M.B. 

ANAGHA IV. Skanda has a synonym, Anagha as well. 
(M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 232, Verse 5) . 

ANAGHA V. A bird named Anagha is mentioned 
among the children of Garuda. (M.B., Udyoga Parva, 
Chapter 101, Verse 12). 

ANAGHA VI. Used as a synonym of Siva. (M.B., 
Anusasana Parva, Chapter 1 7, Verse 38) . 

ANAGHA VII. A synonym of Visnu. (M.B., Anusasana 
Parva, Chapter 149, Verse 29). 

ANAGHAM. A place in ancient India. (M.B., Sabha 
Parva, Chapter 30, Verse 9) . 

ANAGNI(S). They are Pitrs. Pitrs like Agnisvattas, 
Barhisads, Anagnis, Sagnis were offsprings of Brahma. 
Two damsels, Mena and Dharim were born to them 
of Svadha. (Agni Purana, Chapter 20) . 

ANAL A I. A daughter of Daksa. Some of the other 
daughters are Aditi, Dili, Danu, Kalika, Tamra, 
Krodhavasa, Manu and Anala. These daughters were 

married to Kas"yapa, son of Marici. Trees, creepers etc. 
owe their origin to Anala. (Valmlki Ramayana, Aranya 
kanda, Canto 14) . 

ANALA II. Another Anala is referred to in Verse 71 
Chapter 66 of Adi Parva, in M.B. This Anala was the 
wife of KaSyapa and a great granddaughter of Krodha- 
vasa, the daughter of Daksa. Krodhavasa begot Sveta, 
and she Surabhl ; Rohini was the daughter of Surabhl 
and Anala was Rohini's daughter. 

ANALA III. Daughter of Malyavan born of Sundarl. 
She was married to Vi^vavasu. KumbhinasI was her 
daughter. (Valmlki Ramayana, Uttarakanda). 

ANALAMBA. A sacred pool. A bath in the pool is as 
efficacious as the Purusamedha yajna. (M.B., Anu- 
sasana Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 32) . 

ANAMITRA I. A king of the Solar dynasty. The 
Atmapurana refers to him as the son of Nighna. 

ANAMITRA II. Anamitra, son of Dhrs{a is referred to 
as a king of the Yadavas in Atmapurana. 

ANAMITRA III. One Anamitra, son of Vrsni is refer- 
red to in Matsyapurana. He was the father of Sini. 

ANAMITRA IV. A son born to King Krosta and his 
wife Madrl. 

ANAMITRA. Father of Caksusa, the Manu of the 6th 
Manvantara and son of sage Anamitra. (SeeAnanda). 

ANANATA. A sage. (Rgveda, Mandala 4, Sukta 175) . 

ANANGA I. Son of Kardamaprajapati, and a king 
reputed for his love of the people and unparallelled integ- 
rity. He had a son called Atibala. (M.B. Santi Parva, 
Chapter 59, Verse 91). 

ANAlsfGA II. (See Kamadeva) . 

ANANGA. A river in ancient India. (M.B., Bhlsma 
Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 35) . 


1) Genealogy. Mahavisnu begot Brahma and he the 
Prajapatis and Ananta (Adisesa) is one of the Praja- 
patis. (Valmlki Ramayana, Aranyakanda, Canto 14, 
Verse 7) . Ananta is also referred to as the son of 
Katyapa, one of the Prajapatis born ofKadru. (M.B., 
Adi Parva, Chapter 105, Verse 41). Also Balabhadra- 
rama, elder brother of Sri Krsna was a partial incarna- 
tion of Ananta. 

2) Differences with mother. Vinata and Kadru were 
two wives of Kasyapa prajapati. Garuda was born as 
Vinata'sson and numerous serpents like Ananta, Vasuki, 
Taksaka, Karkkofaka were sons of Kadru. Once a 
controversy developed between Vinata and Kadru, the 
latter saying that there were a few black hairs on the 
tail of Airavata and the former denying it. It was 
agreed that she who proved wrong in the argument 
would become the slave of the other. To prove herself 
to be right Kadru, the same night, asked her sons to 
go and stay suspended in the hairs of Airavata's tail. 
Some of the sons agreed to do so, while her other 
(prominent) sons like Ananta expressed their disincli 
nation to do such an unethical act. Kadru cursed these 
disobedient children of hers to die at the serpent yajna 
of Janamejaya, whereupon Ananta and his supporters 
departed in sorrow. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 65). 

3) Ananta's new engagement. Departing thus from his 
mother Ananta visited sacred centres like Gandha- 
madana, Badari and practised austerities. And, Brahma 
appeared before Ananta and asked him not to worry, 
but to go to the nether world and support the world 
on his hoods. Brahma also told him that Garuda would 
render him all help in the new task. Blessed thus by 



Brahma, Ananta gladly took up the new job. (M.B., 
Adi Parva, Chapter 36, Verse 24). 

4) Ananta has another abode in the palace of Varuna 
in the west. (M.B., Udyoga Parva, Chapter 110, Verse 

5) Atlanta's prowess. About Ananta's prowess Visnu 
Parana has the following to say : At the bottom of 
Patala there is a base (Tamasic) form of Visnu called 
Adisesa. Even the Danavas and the Daityas are not 
able to describe the attributes of that form. The 
Siddhas call this Adisesa Ananta who is worshipped 
by Devas and rsis. Ananta has 1000 heads and the 
Svastika mark which is clearly visible is his ornament. 
The 1000 gems in his head illuminate all regions, and 
he renders the Asuras powerless for the good of all the 
worlds. Adisesa whose eyes ever rotate due to the 
overflow of his prowess, and who wears blue apparel 
and garlands of white gems shines forth like another 
Mount Kailasa beautified with garlands of clouds and 
by the flow of the Gaiiga. Sri Devi and Varuni Devi serve 
Ananta who holds in one hand a larhgala and in the 
other a mace (musala) . As the deluge (end of a yuga 
Kalpanta) approaches Rudra emanates from the faces 
of Ananta and consumes the three worlds. Adisesa 
dwells in the nether world wearing the whole earth as 
a crown. Even the Devas cannot gauge his nature, shape, 
prowess etc. When he yawns the earth and waters shake 
and shiver. The Gandharvas, Nagas, Caranas etc. fail 
to understand the real extent of his attributes, and that 
is why this strange being is called Ananta (endless) . It 
was by worshipping Ananta and by his grace that sage 
Garga was able to master the sciences of astronomy 
and causation (nimitta). (Visnu Purana, Part 2, 
Chapter 5) . 

6) The land qf Ananta. Patala is Ananta's world, and 
at its bottom there is a spot called Ananta. That spot 
is 30000 yojanas in extent, and here lives Ananta. He is 
known as Sankarsana also. He bears the whole nether 
world as though it were a mustard seed. And, when 
he thinks of destroying the entire world the Rudra 
called Saiikarsana will appear with other Rudras and 
weapons like tridents (Trisula). Other serpents bow at 
the feet of Ananta, who is supremely beautiful with 
divine lustre. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 8) . 

ANANTA II. A synonym of the Sun God. (M.B., Vana 
Parva, Chapter 3, Verse 24) . 

ANANTA III. A synonym of Sri Krsna. (M.B., Udyoga 
Parva, Chapter 70, Verse 14). 

ANANTA IV. One of the military captains of Skanda. 
(M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 57) . 

ANANTA V. A synonym of Visnu. (M.B., Anusasana 
Parva, Chapter 149, Verse 83). 

ANANTA VI. A synonym of Siva. (M.B., Anusasana 
Parva, _Chapter 17, Verse 135). 

ANANTA. Wife of Janamejaya, son of King Puru. 

ANANTA. The abode of Ananta in the nether regions. 
(Devi Bhagavata, Canto 8). (There are certain indica- 
tions that Ananta refers to Trivandrum, Capital city of 
the Kerala State. Explanations of words like Svarga, 
Bhumi, Patala, Ananta, Deva, Asura, throw much light 
on this inference). 

ANANTAVIJAYAM. The conch of Dharmaputra. It 
was blown during the great war. (M.B., Bhisma Parva, 
Chapter 25, Verse 15). 

ANAPAYACOLA. A King of the Cola country, 1063- 
1112. The Tamil poet Sekhilar who composed the 
twelfth song of the great Saiva religious book called 
Tirumurayil was a minister of this King. 

ANARAKATlRTHA. A sacred pool. Brahma, along 
with Visnu and others bathe daily in this sacred pool. 
Therefore, it is said that the sins of all those who bathe 
in the pool will be washed off. 

ANARAJVYA (ANARAl^YA) . A King of the Iksvaku 
dynasty. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 1, Verse 236). 
For genealogy, see IKSVAKU. Anaranya was a vege- 
tarian. (M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 115, Verse 59) . 
Ravana once attacked his country whom he challenged 
to a duel. In the duel Anaranya died. Before dying he 
cursed Ravana that he would be killed by Rama, son 
of King Dasaratha. (Brahmanda Purana, Chapter 45) . 


ANARKA(M) . A king born in King Kaipla's dynasty. 
(Agni Purana, Chapter 2 78). 

ANASA (ASAMGA) . A brother of Akrura. (Bhagavata, 
Dasama Skandha) . 

ANAStJYA. Wife ofSageAtri, son of Brahma. (Visnu 
Purana, Part 1, Chapter 10). 

1) Genealogy. From Mahavisnu were born in order 
Brahma, Svayambhuva Manu, Devahuti, Anasuya. To 
Svayambhuva, son of Brahma, was born by his wife 
Satarupa five children : Uttanapada, Priyavrata, Ahuti. 
Devahuti and Prasuti and Devahuti was married to 
Kardama, son of Brahma. They begot two daughters, 
Kala. and Anasuya. Marici married Kala and Atri 
married Anasuya. (Bhagavata, Skandha 1, Chapter 4). 

2) The Tapassakti of Anasuya. Once upon a time, rains 
having failed for ten years the whole world sweated in 
agony and river Gangl got dried up. Famine stalked the 
world. In this dire contingency it was the tapassakti of 
Anasuya that made trees bear fruits and Ganga to flow 
again. Also, she converted ten days into nights on the 
request of the Devas. 

During their forest life Rama and Slta reached the her- 
mitage of sage Atri, and the sage and Anasuya treated 
the guests sumptuously. The above story about the 
tapassakti of Anasuya was told then by Atri. The story 
helped to increase Rama's respect for Anasuya. Anasuya 
gave Slta all proper advice. She taught Slta that abso- 
lute service to husband is the greatest tapas ordained 
to women. Anasuya gave to Slta a very sacred garland 
and a sublime gem. And, after that Rama and Slta left 
the hermitage. (Valmiki Ramayana, Ayodhyakanda, 
Cantos 117 and 118.). 

3) Sons of Anasuya. She had three sons: Datt'treya, 
Durvasas and Candra. (Visnu Purana, Part 1, Chapter 
10) . (The reason for Mahavisnu being born as Datr.t- 
reya, Siva as Durvasas and Brahma as Candra to 
Anasuya is given under Atri) . 

ANAUPAMYA. Wife of Banasura. Once she developed 
an amorous interest in Narada. which led to some 
domestic quarrels. (Padma Purana, Adikfinda, Chapter 

ANAVADYA. Wife of KaSyapa, this Apsar" woman 
participated in the birthday celebrations of Arjuna. 
(M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 122, Verse 62). 

AI^DA.* Suta, the disciple of Vyasa said to the Munis 
at the Naimisaranya about the creation of the Universe: 
In the beginning in the heavy universal darkness, the 

^DA. The primal seed (Anda=egg or seed) from which everything was born. 


first seed of life (anda) appeared. (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 1, Verse 28). 

. \\DAKATAHA. The entire universe consisting of the 
fourteen worlds, which are : Bhuloka, Bhuvarloka, 
Svarloka, Maharloka, Janarloka, Tapoloka, Satyaloka, 
Patfila, Rasatala, Mahatala, Talatala, Sutala, Vitala, 

ANDHA I. An offspring of Kasyapa by his wife 
Kadrii. (M.B., Udyoga Parva, Chapter 103, Verse 16). 
ANDHA II. There is a story in M.B., about a hunts- 
man, Vataka killing one Andha, an evil being. Andha 
whose form and shape were that of an animal, by do- 
ing tapas, became recipient of a boon for destroying 
everything. Brahma rendered him blind lest the world 
perish, and that a'nimal began to be known as Andha. 
When Andha began his programme of complete destruc- 
tion many people rushed up to ViiSvamitra in his abode 
in the forest. Andha followed them. But, Visvamitra, 
in the interests of self-protection pointed out the refu- 
gees to Andha. As punishment for this sin Visvamitra 
had once to go to hell. This story was related by 
Krsna to Arjuna during the great war at Kuruksetra, 
and the reason for telling the story was this: During 
the fight Arjuna hesitated to aim' arrows against Karna. 
Enraged by this attitude of Arjuna Dharmaputra asked 
him to hand over his famous bow, Gandiva to Sri Krsna. 
Feeling insulted at this demand Arjuna, all on a sud- 
den, drew his sword to do away with Dharmaputra. 
Sri Krsna, prevented Arjuna from attacking his noble 
brother, and in this context related the above story to 
prove the truth that sins committed even unwittingly 
will lead one, as in the case of Visvamitra to hell. 
( M.B., Kama Parva, Chapter 69) . 

ANDHA III. Upamanyu, the excellent disciple of 
Dhaumya, consumed the leaves of a tree which made 
him blind. (See Ayodhadhaumya) (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 3) . 

ANDHAKA I. There was a very renowned king called 
Andhaka in the Yadu dynasty. All kings belonging to 
this dynasty used to be called Andhakas. 
ANDHAKA II. Verse 12, Chapter 4 of M.B., Udyoga 
Parva refers to another King called Andhaka. The 
Pandavas had sent to him a messenger soliciting mili- 
tary help. 

1 ) Birth. This Asura was the foster son of Hiranyaksa. 
Siva was really his father. While once Siva was 
immersed in yoga his daughter closed his eyes play- 
fully with her hands, and lo ! a darkness rose and 
enveloped the whole place. From that darkness, with 
a sound as that of thunderbolt, appeared a Raksasa. 
He got the name Andhaka as he was born from dark- 
ness. At that time Hiranyaksa was doing tapas for a 
son. Siva appeared before him and bestowing on him 
Andhaka as a foster son said as follows: "If he 
(Andhaka) earns the hatred of the world or desires 
even the mother of the three worlds or kills brahmins 
I will myself burn him to ashes". After saying this 
Siva disappeared. (Vamana Purana, Chapter 63). 
2 ) Andhaka desires Pdrvati with lust. One day overcome 
by erotic passion Andhaka said to his henchmen as 
follows : "He is my true friend who brings Siva's 
consort, Parvati to me. Yes, he is my brother, nay, 
father even." Hearing these ravings .. of -, Andhaka, 
Prahlada went to him and convinced him that Parvati, 



in fact was his mother. But Andhaka was not quieten- 
ed. Then Prahlada explained to him the gravity of 
the sin of desiring other people's wives. Even this had 
no effect on Andhaka. He sent Sambarasura to Siva 
to ask for and bring Parvati to him. Siva sent word to 
Andhaka that if the latter would defeat him in the 
game of dice Parvati would be sent to him. Andhaka 
got enraged and rushed to mount Mandara and began 
a fight with Siva. 

3) Death. Defeated in the encounter, Andhaka craved 
for Siva's pardon. He admitted that Parvati was his 
mother. He also prayed for Siva's blessings for removal 
of his Asurahood. Siva granted him the prayers. The 
sins and Asurahood of Andhaka were thus ended. Siva 
made him the head of the Asuras, named Bhrngi. 
(Vamana Purana, Chapter 63 etc.). 

ANDHAKA (M). A sacred pool. A dip in this pool will 
bring all the benefits of a Purusamedha yajna. (M.B., 
Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Verses 32, 33) . 
ANDHAKARAKA (M ) . A place in the island of Kraunca. 

(M.B., Bhisma Parva, Chapter 12, Verse 18) . 
ANDHAKARAM. A mountain in the island of Kraunca. 

(M.B., Bhisma Parva, Chapter 12, Verse 22). 
ANDHAKUPA (M). In the Devi Bhagavata Mahavisnu 
describes 28 hells to Narada, and Andhakupam is one 
of them, (see Naraka). Andhakupa is reserved for those 
who kill either Brahmins or devotees of God or Sannya- 
sins (holy people). This hell abounds in cruel beasts 
like the bear and leopard, evil birds like the eagle, 
reptiles like the snake and scorpion and dirty insects 
like bugs and mosquitos. The sinner will have to put 
up with all these sufferings in hell till the period of his 
punishment expires. (Devi Bhagavata, Astama 

ANDHATAMISRA. One of the 28 hells. (See Naraka). 
This hell is destined for wives who cheat their husbands 
and consume food and for husbands who cheat their 
wives and eat food. Agents of Yama get hold of 
such sinners and push them into the Andhatamisra. As 
the cords of the agents with which they bind the sin- 
ners get tighter around their bodies they faint and fall 
down owing to unbearable pain. When they regain 
consciousness and try to run away and escape, the 
Agents of Yama again bind them with the cord. (Devi 
Bhagavata, Astama Skandha). 

ANDHRA (ANDHRA) . This is the Andhra Pradesh in 
modern India. It has to be surmised that this place was 
very famous during the period of the composition of the 
Mahabharata. (M.B., Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 
ANDHRA. Warriors from Andhra were called Andhras. 

(M.B., Drona Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 8). 
ANDHRAKA I. Verse 24, Chapter 4 of Sabha Parva, 
describes this king of Andhra Desa as having sat in the 
assembly hall of the palace constructed by Maya at 
Indraprastha for the Pandavas. He was also present at 
the Rajasuya Yajna performed by Yudhisfhira. (M.B., 
Sabha Parva, Chapter 34, Verse 11 ). 
ANDHRAKA II. The warriors of Andhra Desa were 
called Andhrakas also. (M.B., Karna Parva, Chapter 
20, Verses 10 and 1 1) . In the Bharata war the King of 
Pandya defeated those warriors. Krsna incited Arjuna 
to kill the Andhras and the Pulindas. (M.B., Karna 
Parva, Chapter 73, Verses 19 to 21) . 
ANDHRAKA III. Andhrakas are classed with Mlec- 




chas (lowest caste of people) in Verse 42, Chapter 207 
of Santi Parva. 

ANENAS I. A king of the Lunar dynasty (Candra 
Varhsa) . 

1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following 
order: Brahma - Atri - Candra -'fiudha- Pururavas- 

2) Birth. Puriiravas had by his wife Urvasi six sons 
named Ayus, Srutayus, Satyayus, Raya, Vijaya and 
Jaya. Of them, Ayus, the eldest, had five sons named 
Nahusa, Ksatravrddha, Raji, Rambha and Anenas. 
Nahusa had a son named Yayati to whom were born 
the sons Puru, Yadu and others. The two dynasties of 
Yadu and Puru (Yaduvamsa and Puruvarhsa) origi- 
nate from them. To Anenas brother of Nahusa, a son 
named Suddha was born. Suddha begot Suci who be- 
got Trikakup and a son named Santarayas was born to 

ANENAS II. A Maharaja of the Iksvaku dynasty. 
Genealogy. From Visnu descended thus: Kasyapa- 
Vaivasvata Manu - Iksvaku-Sasada-Kakutstha-Anenas. 

ANGA. A King belonging to the Candra varhsa. (Lunar 
dynasty) . 

1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following 
order: Brahma - Atri - Candra-Budha-Pururavas-Ayus- 
Nahusa - Yayati - Anudruhyu - Sabhanara - Kalanara- 

2) Birth. Ariga, Kaliriga, Suhma, Kandra, Vanga, 
Adrupa and Anasabhu are the seven sons born to Bali, 
the son of Sutapas, by his wife Sutesna, and the King 
Atiga is one of them. There is a story about the birth 
of these sons. 

Once there lived a hermit named Utatthya. He was 
the elder brother ofBrhaspati. One day when Mamata, 
Utatthya 's wife, was pregnant, Brhaspati approached 
her with carnal desires. In spite of her efforts to dis- 
suade her brother-in-law from his attempts she could not 
prevail upon him. He forced her and satisfied his desire. 
The child in her womb protested and kicked the sperm 
ofBrhaspati out into the floor. Brhaspati got angry and 
cursed the child in the womb: "May you fall in perpe- 
tual darkness". So the child was born blind and 
remained blind throughout his life. Hence he got the 
name 'Dirghatamas'. Dirghatamas married Pradvesi. A 
son named Gautama was born to them. The duty of 
supporting Dirghatamas fell upon the wife and the son, 
who put him on a raft and pushed him astray into the 
River Ganges. King Bali, who was bathing in the river 
saw this. He rescued the hermit and took him to the 
palace and pleasing him by hospitality, requested him 
to beget children in his wife Sutesna, who detesting the 
idea sent a Sudra woman Dhatreyi in her stead and 
eleven children were born to them. By and by Dirgha- 
tamas came to know of the deceit played by Sutesna on 
him and he became very angry. But the King pacified 
him and pleased him again and Dirghatamas begot five 
sons by Sutesna. They were Aiiga, Vanga, Kaliiiga, 
Paundra and Suhma. Dirghatamas blessed them that they 
would become very famous. Anga, Vanga, Kalinga, 
Paundra and Suhma were the five kingdoms ruled by 
Aiiga, Vanga, Kalinga, Paundra and Suhma respectively. 
These five are the famous Kings of the Bali family. 
(Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 104). 

3) How Aiiga got children. Once Anga performed a 
horse sacrifice. But the gods did not appear to receive 

oblations. Holy seers said that the Gods refused to 
accept the oblations offered by the King because he was 
childless. So he performed the sacrifice called Putraka- 
mesti (Sacrifice to get a son) and from the sacrificial 
fire arose a divine person with a golden flask of pud- 
ding, which he offered to the King and his queen. The 
King and the queen Sunitha ate the pudding, as a 
result of which a son was born to them. He was named 
Vena. This son was wicked. Because of his wickedness 
the King became so miserable that he left his kingdom 
and went on a pilgrimage. Since there was no other 
means the people enthroned Vena, who tortured his 
subjects beyond limit. (Bhagavata, 4th Skandha, Chap- 
ters Band 14). 
ANGADA I. A son of Bali. 

1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following 
order : Brahma-Kasyapa-Indra-Bali-Arigada. 

2) Birth. Aiigada was the son of Bali ( the son of 
Indra) born of his wife Tara. (Mahabharata, Vana 
Parva, Chapter 82, Stanza 28). 

a) Aiigada was a member of the group of monkeys 
sent by Sugrlva to find out Sita. (Valmlki Ramayana, 
Aranyakanda ) . 

b) He was the foremost among the group of monkeys 
who entered Madhuvana and ate the berries in the 
garden, on their return after the search for Sita. 

-c) Angada was sent to the court of Ravana as a 
messenger by Sri Rama. (Ramayana, Yuddhakanda) . 

d) In the battle between Rama and Ravana Angada 
combated with Indrajit. (Ramayana, Yuddhakanda). 

e) After his combat with Indrajit, Angada and his 
followers led an attack on the army of Ravana. (Rama- 
yana, Yuddhakanda). 

f) After the battle, Sri Rama anointed Angada as the 
heir-apparent to the Kingdom of Kiskindha. The neck- 
lace which Bali had given on his death to Sugrlva, was 
returned to Angada. (Uttara Ramayana) . 

g) Sri Rama returned to Ayodhya after his forest 
life and celebrated a horse sacrifice. The sacrificial 
horse was caught and detained by King Suratha. Com- 
ing to know of this Satrughna sent Angada to deal 
with Suratha, who said that the horse was detained 
with the intention of meeting with Sri Rama personally. 
Angada returned and told Satrughna what Suratha had 
said to him. (Padma Purana, Khanda) . 

ANGADA II. There was a prince called Angada among 
the mighty men-of-arms on the side of the Kauravas. 
He got into action on the battle-field on the twelfth day 
of the battle. (M.B., Drona Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 

ANGADA HI. Srutakirti the wedded wife of Satru- 
ghna, brother of Sri Rama, had two sons called Aiigada 
and Chandraketu. (Uttara Ramayana). 

ANGADA IV. In the Bhagavata we see another Angada 
who was the son of Gada, the brother of Krsna by his 
wife, Brhatl. 

ANGAKARMA. Actions on the stage are of two kinds. 
One is to express by the major organs of the body. The 
other is to express by the minor organs of the body. Head 
etc. are major organs and eyebrow etc. are minor 
organs. Actions expressed by major organs are called 
Aiigakarma and those by minor organs are called Prat- 
yaiiga Karma. (Agni Purana, Chapter 341). 

ANGALAMMA. She is the wife of Virabhadra, a servant 

ANGA(M) 38 

of Siva. She has a rope in her left hand, with which she 
hauls up the spirits of the dead. 

ANGA(M). The kingdom ruled by King Ahga. Other 

1 ) The Dynasty. The first King of the Ariga dynasty 
was Anga the son of Bali. Anagabhu, Draviratha, 
Dharmaratha, Romapada (LomapTida) , Caturahga, 
Prthulaksa, Brhadratha, Brhanmanas, Jayadratha, 
Vijaya, Drdhavrata, Satyakarma, Atiratha, Karna, 
Vrsasena and others were kings of this dynasty. Karna 
was the adopted son of Atiratha. During the period of 
the Mahabharata, Kings of the Atiratha family were 
under the sway of the Candra varhsa (Lunar dynasty) 
kings such as Dhrtarastra and Pandu. (For further in- 
formations see the word Atiratha) . 

2) How Kama became the king of Anga. A contest in 
archery and the wielding of other weapons was going 
on in Hastinapura, the competitors being the Kauravas 
and the Pandavas. The status of Karna, who appeared 
on the side of the Kauravas, was questioned by the 
Pandavas on the occasion and Duryodhana, who always 
stood on his dignity, anointed Karna as the King of 
Anga, on the spot. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 136) . 

3) Drought in the kingdom of Ariga. Lomapada ( Roma- 
pada) the king of Ahga once deceived a hermit Brahmin. 
So all the Brahmins quitted the country and thereafter 
there was no rainfall in the country for several years. 
The sages of the country began to think on the means 
of bringing about rain. One day they approached the 
King and told him that the only way to get rain was 
to bring the great hermit Rsyasrhga to the country. 
Once Kasyapa happened to see Urvasi and he had 
seminal flow. The sperm fell in a river. A deer swal- 
lowed it along with the water it drank. It gave birth to a 
human child with horns on the head. This child was 
called Rsyasrhga. It was brought up by a hermit 
called Vibhandaka in his hut. Rsyasriiga had never 
seen- women and by virtue of this, there occurred rain- 
fall wherever he went. The King Lomapada sent some 
courtesans to the forest to attract Rsyasrhga, who 
following them arrived at the court of Lomapada the 
King of Anga and the King gave Rsyasrhga, as a gift, 
his daughter Santa. Thus the country got rain. This 
Lomapada was a friend of Dasaratha. (Mahabharata, 
Aranya Parva, Chapters 110 to 113). 

4) How the Kingdom got the name Ariga. One opinion is 
that the Kingdom got its name from the King Ahga 
who ruled over it. Another opinion is that the king got 
his name from the country he ruled. However there is 
a story revealing how the country came to be called 

In the realm of God, preliminary steps were being taken 
for making Sri Paramesvara wed Parvati. According to 
the instructions of Devendra, Kamadeva (the Lord of 
Love Cupid) was trying to break the meditation of Siva 
and when Siva opened his third eye, fire emitted from 
it and Anahga (Kamadeva) was burned to ashes. It 
was in the country of Ahga that the ashes of the 'ahga' 
(Body) of Kamadeva fell and from that day onwards 
the country came to be called Ahga and Kamadeva, 
'Anahga' (without body). (Valmiki Ramayana, Bala- 
kanda, Sarga 26) . 

5) Other informations. 

( 1 ) It is mentioned in the Hindi Dictionary, 'Sabda 
Sagara' that the kingdom of Ahga embracing Bhagatpur 


and Murhger in Bihar had its capital at Campapurl and 
that the country had often stretched from Vaidya- 
nathan'irna to Bhuvanesvar. 

(2) Arjuna had visited the Kingdom of Ahga also during 
his pilgrimage. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 219, Stanza 

(3) The King of Ahga was present at the sacrifice of 
Rajasuya (Royal consecration) celebrated by Dharma- 
putra, when the Pandavas were living at Indraprastha. 

(M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 52, Stanza 16) . 

(4) On one occasion Sri Krsna defeated the Ahgas in a 
battle. (M.B., Drona Parva, Chapter 11, Stanza 15). 

(5) Parasurama had defeated the Ahgas once. (M.B., 
Drona Parva, Chapter 7, Stanza 12). 

(6) In the battle of Kuruksetra between the Pandavas 
and the Kauravas, on the sixteenth day of the battle, 
the heroes of Ahga made an onslaught on Arjuna. (M.B., 
Karna Parva, Chapter 17, Stanza 12). 

( 7) The Ahgas attacked the armies of Dhrstadyumna 
and the King of Pancala. (M.B., Karna Parva, Chapter 
22, Stanza 2) . 

(8) A low caste man from Ahga attacked Bhlma, who 
killed the man and his elephant. (Mahabharata, Drona 
Parva, Chapter 26, Stanzas 14 to 17). 


General Information. (I) This was a country in ancient 
Bharata. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 50). 
(2) Visvamitra had taken to the forest from Ayodhya 
Rama and Laksmana to protect the hermits and their 
yagas. On the way they entered the Tafaka forest. 
Visvamitra told the boys in answer to their questions 
thus : ''In olden days this place was a countryside 
known as Ahgamalaja or Malada or Karusa. There is 
a reason for calling the country by that name. Indra 
killed Vrtra and thereby incurred the sin of Brahma- 
hatya and so he came away to this country and lived 
here for a while. The Gods found him out here. They 
poured water on the head of the unclean Indra and the 
dirt, hunger, excreta and Karusa having been separated 
from his body fell on the soil of this place and was 
mingled with it. Indra's body became pure. As excreta, 
Karusa etc. were mingled with the soil of this country, 
it came to be called Ahgamalaja, Malada or Karusa 
from that day onwards. One part of the country was 
called Malada and the other part Karusa. Indra, having 
been purified by washing in water returned to heaven 
with the gods. After that this country became uninha- 
bited for a long time. The horrible Tataka lives in this 
forest now". (Valmiki Ramayana, Balakanda, Sarga 

ANGAPRADAKSINA. Rolling behind a chariot round 
the temple as a vow. 

ANGARA. A king of ancient India. He was defeated by 
Mandhata in a battle. (Mahabharata, Santi Parva, 
Chapter 29, Stanza 88). 

KINGS) . Descended from Visnu in the following order: 
Brahma - Atri-Candra-Budha-Pururavas-Ayus - Nahusa- 
Yayati. Yadu, Turvasu, Druhyu and Anudruhyu were 
the four sons of Yayati. The Ahga dynasty starts from 
Turvasu, one of the four. The following are the descen- 
dants of Turvasu. Varga was the son of Turvasu, 
Gobhanu, the son of Varga, Traisani the son of Gobhanu, 
Karandhama, the son of Traisani, Marutta, the son of 
Karandhama, Dusyanta, the son of Marutta, Varutha, 




the son of Dusyanta, Gandira the son of Varutha, and 
Gandara the son of Gandira. The five powerful peoples, 
the Gandharas, the Colas, the Keralas, the Pandyas 
and the Kolas have descended from Gandhara. 
Two sons, Druhyu and Babhrusetu were born to Gandhara. 
Babhrusetu begot Purovasu; Purovasu begot Gandhari. 
From Gandhari Gharma was born, from Gharma Ghrta 
was born, from Ghrta Vidusa was born, and fromVidusa 
Pracetas was born. Pracetas got a hundred children of 
whom the prominent were Anidra, Sabhanara, Caksusa and 
Paramesu. To Sabhanara was born Kalanala and Srn- 
jaya to Kalanala, Puranjaya to Srnjayaandjanamejaya 
to Puranjaya. Mahasala was the son of Janamejaya; 
Mahamanas the son of Mahasala, and Usinara the son 
of Mahamanas. To Usinara were born Nrga, Nara, 
Krmi, Suvrata and Sibi by his wives Nrga, Nara, Krmi, 
Dasa and Drsadvati respectively. To Sibi were born 
four sons called Prthudarbha, Viraka, Kaikaya and 
Bhadraka. Four separate kingdoms arose in the names 
of them. Usinara had another son called Titiksu. From 
Titiksu was born Rusadratha; from Rusadratha was 
born Paila, from Paila was born Sutapas and from 
Sutapas was born the great hermit Bali. From Bali, 
Ariga, Variga, Kaliiiga, Pundra, Baleya and Balayogi 
were born. To Ariga was born Dadhivahana. The King 
Draviratha was the son of Dadhivahana, Dharmaratha 
the son of Draviratha, Citraratha the son of Dharma- 
ratha, and Satyaratha was the son of Citraratha. To 
Satyaratha was born Lomapada; to Lomapada was 
born Caturariga; to Caturariga was born Prthulaksa, to 
Prthulaksa was born Campa; to Campa was born Har- 
yariga, to Haryanga was born Bhadraratha, to Bhadra- 
ratha was born Brhatkarma, to Brhatkarma was born 
Brhadbhanu, to Brhadbhanu was born Brhadatma, 
to Brhadatma was born Jayadratha, to Jayadratha was 
born Brhadratha and to Brhadratha was born Visvajit. 
After that Kama became the King of Ariga. The son of 
Kama was Vj-sasena and the son of Vrsasena was 
Prthusena. These are the kings of the Ariga dynasty. 
(Agni Purana, Chapter 277.) 

ANGARAKA I. An Asura who took the form of a pig. 
The story of how this Asura was killed by his daughter 
Arigaravati, is given below. 

Long ago there was an emperor named Mahendra- 
varma in Ujjayinl. His son Mahasena did penance for 
a long time to get a wife and a sword. At last Devi 
appeared and granted the boon: ''My son ! take this 
extraordinary sword. So long as you have this sword, 
your enemies will not prevail against you. Arigaravati, 
the renowned beauty of the three worlds, who is the 
daughter of the Asura Arigaraka, will become your 
wife in due course. As you do horrible deeds, you will 
be called Candamahasena". He was given the sword 
and a tusker called Nadagiri. One day Mahasena went 
to the forest for hunting. He saw a very large pig. The 
King used his arrows. But they did little harm to the 
pig. Moreover it turned the chariot of the King over 
to one side and ran to a cave. The King followed it 
with fury. On the way he sat on the bank of a lake 
with wonder, for a lady of exquisite beauty was walk- 
ing along the mossy turf in the midst of some maids. 
Slowly she approached the King and talked with him. 
The young lady had entirely captured the heart of the 
King, who told her everything. She began to weep. 
"Who are you? Why do you weep?" The King asked 

her. She replied with a deep sigh. "The pig you saw, 
is my father Arigarakasura. His body is as hard as 
diamond and not vulnerable to any sort of weapon. 
These maids have been caught by him from various 
royal houses and brought here for my help. My name 
is Arigaravati. My father was changed to a giant by a 
curse. Now he is asleep discarding the form of pig. 
When he wakes up, filled with hunger and thirst, he 
will do you harm. My tears flowed out in the form of 
heated life-breaths, when I thought of these things." 
The King said, "Go and sit by him and cry when he 
wakes up. He will ask the reason. Then tell him that 
you had been crying, when you thought how forlorn 
you would be without a mate, in case your father was 
killed by somebody". Arigaravati did as she was told. 
Hearing her words Arigaraka said, "My daughter ! No 
body can kill me. My body is made of diamond. There 
is only one vulnerable point in my body which is on 
my left forearm and it is always covered with my 

The king hid himself closely and heard everything. He 
fought with the Asura and hitting at the vulnerable 
point killed him. The king married Arigaravati and 
took her to his palace. Two sons were born to him. 
They were called Gopalaka and Palaka. By the grace 
of Indra a daughter also was born to him by her and 
she was Vasavadatta, the wife of the famous Udayana. 
(Kathasaritsagara, Kathamukhalambaka, Tarariga 3) . 

ANGARAKA II. A prince named Arigaraka is seen to 
have been the descendant of Jayadratha, the King of 
Sauvlra. (Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 265, 
Stanza 10). 

ANGARAKA III. A planet named Marigala which is a 
satellite of Brahma is seen to have been called by the 
name Arigaraka also. (Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 11, Stanza 29). 

ANGARAKA IV. We see one Arigaraka among the one 
hundred and eight sons of the Sun. (Mahabharata, 
Vana Parva, Chapter 3, Stanza 10) . 


1) Genealogy. Descended in the following order from 
Visnu. Brahma-Marlci-Ka^yapa-Arigaraka. 

2) Birth. In the battle between the Gods and the 
Asuras, most of the Asuras were killed and one Asura 
fled from the clutches of death to Patala (the nether 
world). Surasa was the daughter of that Asura. Kasyapa 
married Surasa. To them were born the two daughters, 
Angaraka (Simhika) and Ajamukhl, and four sons, 
called Surapadma, Sirhhavaktra, Tarakasura and 
Gomukha. Thus Simhika is the sister of Tarakasura. 
(Skanda Purana, Asura Kanda) . 

Other details. This giantess Arigaraka had a clash once, 
with Hanuman. Sugrlva had sent a large number of 
monkeys under the leadership of Hanuman to search 
for Sita. He gave Hanuman certain instructions regard- 
ing the route he had to follow. Sugrlva said, ''There is 
a giantess in the middle of that Southern Sea. Her 
name is Angara. She pulls the shadow towards her and 
feeds on the object of the shadow." 
From this it is clear that she was a giantess who lived 
in the sea between Larika and South India. She knew 
the art of bringing to her side, anybody who passed 
over the sea, by pulling at his shadow. When Hanuman 
jumped to Larika from the mountain of Mahendra the 
giantess attacked Hanuman. It is seen that the name 




Simhika also is used for Arigaraka. Hanuman who was 
subjected to the excessive attraction of Sirhhika, felt a 
great storm raging round him. Finally he found her out, 
a monster with such an uncouth face and a mouth as 
wide as the hole of Patala (the nether world). There 
was a terrible fight between Hanuman and the monster, 
in which Simhika, fell on the ground beaten. After the 
fight Hanuman resumed his journey. (Valmlki Rama- 
yana, Sundarakanda, Sarga 1, Stanzas 178 to 186). 
ANGARA (M). A countryside in ancient India. (Maha- 
bharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 60). 
ANGARAPARtfA. (Citraratha) See the word CITRA- 


ANGAVAHA. A king of immense fame, belonging to the 
dynasty of Vrsni. Angavaha attended^ with Balabhadra- 
rfima, the sacrifice of Raj asuya (Royal consecration) 
celebrated by Yudhisthira. ( Mahabharata, Sab ha Parva, 
Chapter 34, Stanza 16). 

1 ) Birth. He is a hermit born from the mind of Brahma. 
Six mind-born sons (Manasa-Putras) were born to 
Brahma, known as Marlci, Angiras, Atri, Pulastya, 
Pulaha, and Kratu. All the six of them became great 
hermits. (Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 65, 
Stanza 10) *. 
2) Important events. 

(1) The failure of Angiras. There was a King named 
Citraketu in the kingdom of Surasena. Once Angiras 
reached his palace when the King was in a miserable 
state as he was childless. The King informed Angiras of 
his sorrow. He pacified the King and said that a son 
would be born to him. He and his wife Krtadyuti were 
filled with joy. The other wives of the King did not like 
this. They feared that when a son was born to Krta- 
dyuti the King might overlook them. To the king a 
son was born of Krtadyuti and the other wives poisoned 
the child and killed him. While the parents were weep- 
ing over the dead child Angiras and Narada arrived 
there and wiped their tears. Angiras agreed to bring the 
child back to life. He instantly called the spirit of the 
dead child to him and asked it to become the son of 
Citraketu. The spirit replied that it had a large number 
of parents in several previous births and that it was not 
possible for it to become the son of Citraketu, and then 
it vanished. Angiras and Narada went on their way. 
Citraketu became a devotee of Visnu and by the 
curse of Parvatl, was born again as Vrtrasura. (Bhaga- 
vata, Skandha 6, Chapter 14). 

(2) How Angiras cursed Sudarsana and transmuted him to a 
serpent. While Sudarsana, a vidyadhara (a class of semi- 
gods) was travelling lusl fully with a group of beautiful 
girls he came across Aiig'.ras and some other hermits. He 
teased Angiras calling him 'durbhaga' (unlucky) and 
Angiras cursed him and changed him to a big serpent 
and he was promised liberation from the curse, when, 
during the dvapara yuga (one of the four ages) Maha- 
visnu would incarnate as Sri Krsna and would tread 
upon him and then he would regain his former form. 
From that day onwards Sudarsana lived on the banks 
of the river Kalindi in the form of a serpent. It was 

the time when Sri Krsna was having his game of love 
with the Gopa women. On one night one serpent bit 
Nanda the foster father of Sri Krsna. The cowherds 
or gopas hit at the snake with burned wood. But it was 
of no use. Sri Krsna came there and thrashed the 
serpent, which instantly took the form of Sudarsana 
Vidyadhara and praising Sri Krsna entered heaven. 
(Bhagavata, Skandha 10, Chapter 34). 

(3) A/igiras a Prajapati. Brahma had created sixteen 
prajapatis, for effecting the creation of the universe. 
Angiras is one of them. Their names are given below: 

1 ) Kardama 9 ) Pulastya 

2) Vikrlta 10) Angiras 

3) Sesa 11) Pracetas 

4) Samsraya 12) Pulaha 

5) Sthanu 13) Daksa 

6) Marlci 14) Vivasvan 

7) Atri 15) Arisfanemi 

8) Kratu 16) Kasyapa 
(Valmiki Ramayana, Aranyakanda, Sarga 14). 

(4) The wives and children of Angiras. Angiras had 
several wives such as Subha, Smrti, Sraddha, Devasena 
and Vasudha. The names of the sons of Angiras are 
given below: 

1 ) Brhatkirti 5) Brhadmantra 

2) Brhatjyoti 6) Brhadbhasa 

3) Brhadbrahma 7) Brhaspati. 

4) Brhadmana 

The names of the eight daughters of Angiras are given 
below : 

1 ) Bhanumati 5) Havismati 

2) Raga 6) Mahismati 

3) Sinlvali 7) Manama ti 

4) Arcismati 8) Kuhu. 

Besides these sons and daughters, other sons such as 
Sudhanva and Karttikeya were born to Angiras by his 
other wives. (Mahabharata, Vana Parva, five chapters 
from 218). 

(5) The clash between Angiras and Prahldda. Duisasana 
stripped Pancali of her clothes in the Palace hall, in 
the presence of the Pandavas who had been defeated 
in the game of dice. Before this Pancali had asked 
Duryodhana one question, "Have you won yourself or 
myself?" One husband was not authorised to stake his 
wife Pancali who was the wife of five husbands. Moreover 
according to the Sastras (sciences) the deeds executed 
by a King, who was miserable due to hunting, drinking, 
playing dice and hankering after a woman, were not 
legally binding. Hence how could the Kauravas own 
Pancali?" Vidura said that the witnesses in the hall had 
to give an impartial answer to this question, and that 
the punishment of falsehood would come upon the doer 
himself. As an instance he gave the following old story : 
Virocana was the son of Prahlada ; Sudhanva the son 
of Angiras and Virocana fell in love with the same 
woman once. There arose a contention between these 
two as to who was greater. They staked their lives on 
the issue. Then both of them together approached Prah- 
lada and requested him to give a decision as to which 
of them was the elder. Thinking that Prahlada might side 
with Virocana his son, Sudhanva said to him, "Sir, 

*There is another story about the birth of Angiras. At a sacrifice celebrated by Rudra, seminal flow occurred to Brahma who 
happened to see some celestial maids and was overpowered by passionate feelings. Brahma put the sperm in the fire. From that fire appeared 
Angiras along with Marici, Bhrgu and others. This deva (the shining one the God) was called Angiras because his origin was from Angara 
or Cinder. 




you should not utter words of falsehood, nor should you 
abstain from speaking the truth. If you do so your head 
will be cut into a hundred pieces by Indra with his 
Vajrayudha (the weapon of thunderbolt)". Hesitating 
to take a decision, because of the words of Sudhanva, 
Prahlada went to Kaiyapa to clear his doubts, and 
asked: "Lord, do you know which are the future worlds 
destined for those who utter words of falsehood or abstain 
from giving out the truth ?" Kasyapa said, "On him, who 
abstains from speaking truth knowingly a thousand cords 
of death will fall. He who tells falsehood will have 
to perform many a deed of duty to attain heaven." 
Having heard the words of Kasyapa, Prahlada said to 
Virocana, "Virocana, Sudhanva is greater than you. 
Ahgiras is greater than me. Likewise the mother of 
Sudhanva is nobler than your mother. So according to 
your bet you owe your life to Sudhanva." Pleased at 
the righteousness of Prahlada, Sudhanva gave Virocana 
a boon to live a hundred years more. (Mahabharata, 
Sabha Parva, Chapter 63) . 

(6) How Angiras became the first son of Agni (Fire God). 
Once Arigiras was blazing out as a furious being. All 
the worlds were illuminated by that flame-fire. As 
Aiigiras was performing the functions of Agni (fire), 
peoples of the worlds discarded Agni, who being sad at 
the derision shown towards him by the worlds went to 
a forest and hid himself there. The living beings 
were in trouble owing to lack of fire. When he became 
aware of this Ahgiras went to the forest and pacified 
Agni. From that day onwards Angiras agreed to be- 
come the first son of Agni, who resumed his duties as 
usual. (Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 217) . 

(7) How Angiras got the name Atharvangiras. After the 
slaughter of Vrtrasura, Indra went to the lake known 
as Amrtasaras and hid himself there in a lotus flower. At 
this time the Gods anointed Nahusa as Indra. Agastya 
cursed him and turned him to a serpent and sent 
him to the earth. When Indra returned to heaven many 
persons gathered there to greet him. Angiras also was 
one among them who did obeisance to Indra. He paid 
his homage by reciting the hymns of Atharvaveda. Indra 
who was greatly pleased at this, said to Aiigiras, "Here- 
after you shall be known as Atharvangiras". Angiras 
who got this boon from Indra, returned with gratitude. 
(Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 18, Stanzas 5 
to 7). 

(8) Angiras and Drona. In the battle of Kuruksetra, 
between the Pandavas and the Kauravas the great 
teacher, Drona began to release his divine darts towards 
his enemies in all directions. Immediately Ahgiras with 
many other hermits came to Drona and told him, 
"You have burned to death innumerable men with your 
Brahmastra (The most powerful of all missiles). Your 
end is very near. So put your weapons down and stop 
your fight." Drona seems to have paid no heed at all 
to the advice of the hermits. He did not stop fighting 

(9) The sermon of Angiras on the merits of Tirthas or holy 
places (Baths) . Dharmaputra once asked Bhisma about 
the importance of holy ghats or tirthas (Baths) . Bhisma 
told Dharmaputra, what Augiras had once told Gautama 
about the merits obtained by going on pilgrimage to 
holy tirthas or Baths. Angiras had described the holy 
nature and character of holy Baths in Bharata such as 
Puskara, Prabhasa, Naimisa, Sagarodaka, Indramarga, 

Devika, Svarnabindu, Hiranyabindu, Indratoya, and 
such other numerous tirthas. (Mahabharata, AnuSasana 
Parva, Chapter 25, Stanzas 7-71). 
3) Other details: 

( 1 ) Daksa gave his two daughters in marriage to 
Ahgiras. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 7). 

(2) Angiras once saved the Sun. (Mahabharata, 
Vana Parva, Chapter 92, Stanza 6) . 

(3) While the Pandavas were in exile in forest, Ahgiras 
had been chanting and meditating in Alakananda in 
the region of the mount Gandhamadana. (Maha- 
bharata, Aranya Parva, Chapter 142, Stanza 6). 

(4) When the hermits had stolen the lotus flowers of 
Agastya, Ahgiras gave some hints about the culprits. 
( Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 94, Stanza 
20: See Agastya). 

(5) Aiigiras once gave a discourse on fasting and the 
merits of fasting. (Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, 
Chapter 106, Stanzas 11 to 16). 

(6) Angiras on another occasion delivered lectures on 
the secrets of duties. (Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, 
Chapter 127, Stanza 8) . 

(7) Once Ahgiras drank the water in the ocean to the 
last drop. (Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 
153, Stanza 3). 

(8) When his thirst was not quenched, even though he 
had drunk the entire water available in the world, he 
created new springs of water again and drank them dry. 

(Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 153, Stanza 

( 9) Once Agni failed to show respect to Ahgiras, who 
cursed Agni and thenceforward smoke came out from 
fire. (Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 153, 
Stanza 8) . 

(10) Ahgiras conducted many of the important sacrifices 
of King Aviksit. (Mahabharata, Asvamedhika Parva, 
Chapter 4, Stanza 22). 

(11) Indra once gave Ahgiras a boon. (Mahabharata, 
Udyoga Parva, Chapter 18, Stanzas 5 to 7) . 

(12) Ahgiras blessed Dhruva who had been doing 
penance. (Visnu Purana, Amsa 1, Chapter 11). 

(13) The daughters named Sinivali, Kuhu, Raka, 
Anumati were born to Ahgiras by his wife Smrti. (Agni 
Purana, Chapter 20) . 

14) Ahgiras is the first of the Agni devas (Fire-Gods) 
and a hermit. He had a son called Hiranya-Stupa, who 
also was a hermit (Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 7, 
Sukta 31). 

(15) The Hermit Ahgiras began to invoke the Gods to 
get a son equal to Indra. Then Indra, thinking that 
nobody should be born as his equal, took birth as the 
son of Angiras. He was called Savya. (Rgveda, 
Mandala 1, Anuvaka 10, Sukta 51). 

( 16) Indra sent Sarama, the bitch of the Gods, to find 
out the place where the cows had been hidden ; Indra 
acted according to the advice of Ahgiras. At first the 
bitch did not consent to go. But when Devendra promised 
to feed her young one with milk she agreed. Sarama 
found out the place where the cows were hidden and 
informed Indra of it. (Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 1 1, 
Sukta 62). 

17) Rbhus are the sons of Sudhanva. (Son ofAiigiras). 
The hermit Kutsa also is descended from Ahgiras. 
(Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 16, Sukta 10). 




(18) Angiras was the son of Brahma in the Svayambhuva 
Mauvautara (See Manvantara), but in the Vaiva- 
svata Manvantara he \vas born from Agni. 

(19) Once Yilyu (the Wind-God) had to run away 
from Angiras and hide himself as he had caused some 
displeasure to Angiras. On another occasion Angiras 
taught philosophy and sacred doctrines to the hermit 
Saunaka. (Mundakopanisad). 

ANGIRAS 11. In the family of Marici, son of Brahma, 
another King of the name of Angiras is seen. 
Genealogy. Descended from Visnu in the following 
order : Brahma, Marici, Kasyapa, Vaivasvata Manu, 
Uttanapada, Dhruva, Sisti, Ripu, Caksusa Manu, 
Uru, Angiras. (About this Angiras, no other informa- 
tion is available in the Puranas. Visnu Purana, Arhsa 
1, Chapter 13; Agni Purana, Chapter 18). 

ANGIROBHAVA. A hermit named Kakslvan. (Rgveda, 
Man.lala 1, Anuvaka 17, Sukta 120). 

ANlKAVIDARArilA. A brother of Jayadratha, a King 
of the kingdom of Sindhu. Arjuna killed him. (M.B., 
Vana Parva, Chapter 265, Verse 12). 

ANIKETA. A Yaksa, one of the attendants of Kubera. 
(M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 10, Verse 18). He was a 
king of the Anga dynasty. (Agni Purana, Chapter 277). 

ANlKINl. A division of the army. (See under AKSAU- 

ANILA I. One of the Asta (8) Vasus. His father was 
Dharma and mother Svasa. Anila married Siva and had 
two sons, Manojava and Avijnati. (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 66, Verses 17-25). 

ANILA II. Garuda had a son called Anila. (M.B., 
Udyoga Parva, Chapter 101, Verse 9). 

ANILA III. A word used as a synonym of Siva. (M.B., 
AnuSasana Parva, Chapter 149, Verse 100). 

ANILA IV. A word used as a synonym of Visnu. (M.B., 
AnuSasana Parva, Chapter 149, Verse 38). 

ANILA V. A Ksatriya King. His father, Vrsadarbhi 
presented him as Daksina to the Saptarsis (7 sages) at 
a yajna performed by him (father) . The King expired 
soon after this. There was then a famine in the country. 
The Saptarsis, tortured by hunger and thirst got ready 
to prepare food with the corpse of the King. But the 
corpse retained its form and they could not cook food 
with it. (M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 96) . 

ANlLA. A famous serpent. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 
35, Verse 7) . 


1) General. How he got the name Animandavya. Once 
there was a famous Brahmin n med Mandavya. He did 
Tapas (penance) for many years standing silent in 
front of his Asrama, under a tree, raising his hands in 
prayer. At that time some thieves happened to pass by 
that place, with stolen property belonging to the King. 
Finding that the King's men were pursuing them, the 
thieves fled away after leaving their stolen property in 
M:~.ridavya's AJrama. The King's men seized Mandavya 
with the king's property. Even prolonged and repeated 
questionings did not bring out a single word from 
Mandavya. At last the thieves were caught. Mistaking 
him as one of the thieves, the King's men produced 
Mandavya also along with the thieves before the King. 
The thieves were all condemned to death. The royal 
executioners took all of them to the place of execution 
and stuck them up at the tip of a trident (Sula). The 
thieves died, but even after a long time Mandavya did 

not die. In Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Verses 46- 
51 , it is said that at this stage Siva appeared and blessed 
him with longevity and then vanished. Several Munis in 
the shape of birds came near Mandavya who was lying 
on the trident and made enquiries about him. The King 
came to know of all these stories. Full of repentance, he 
went and begged pardon of Mandavya. The attempt 
to pull out the trident from Mandavya's body failed. At 
last it was removed by cutting it off. Since the tip (Ani) 
of the trident was left behind in his body he was there- 
after known as "Ani Mandavya". (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 107) . 

2) Curse on Dharma. After going about in the world 
for many years with the tip of the trident in his body, 
Ani Mandavya once asked Dharma : "Oh! Lord, why 
is it that an innocent man like me is afflicted with the 
trident ?". Dharma answered: "In your boyhood 
you once caught small birds and pierced them with 
a grass reed. It is a result of that sin that you have been 
pierced with the trident." Mandavya replied : "The 
Sastras ordain that there shall be no punishment for 
sins committed till the age of twelve. Therefore the 
punishment inflicted on me is wrong. As the murder 
of a Brahmin is a greater sin than any other murder, 
may you be born as a man in the 'Sudra Caste'." 

By the above curse of Mandavya, Dharma was born a 
son of a Sudra woman. It was this child who later on 
became the renowned Vidura of the Mahabharata. 
(M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 107) . 

3) The story of how the Sun did not rise. When Ani 
Mandavya lay on the tip of the trident another event 
happened. Atri Muni's son UgraSravas was the husband 
of Silavatl. No other woman had so far surpassed 
Silavati in her fidelity to her husband. Once Ugrasravas 
happened to fall ill. He expressed his desire to visit a 
prostitute's house. As he was too weak he could not walk. 
The devoted wife Silavati carried him on her own 
shoulders and took him to the prostitute's house. They 
were passing near the piace where Ani Mandavya was 
lying on the trident. Coming to know of the matter, 
Mandavya pronounced a curse that UgraSravas should 
die before sunrise. Silavati shuddered on hearing this. 
Fearing that she would be widowed by the death of 
UgrasVavas, she, in her turn, pronounced a curse that 
the Sun should not rise again. 

Next day the sun did not rise. All activities came to a 
standstill. At last the gods approached Atri Muni. They 
in uced Anasuya, Atri's wife to persuade Silavati to 
withdraw her curse. Then the sun rose again and 
Ugrasravas died. (Brahmanda Purana, Chapter 42) . 

4) Other details. When the Pandavas were living in 
Hastinapura, Sri Krsna once paid a visit to them. On 
his way he met with certain munis. Among them was 
Ani Mandavya also. (M.B., Udyoga Parva, Chapter 83). 

5) Once the King of Videha told Mandavya that the 
world is transient and advised him to strive for spiritual 
peace. Ani Mandavya who was pleased with the 
King'sadvice attained moksa (salvation) at once. (M.B., 
Santi Parva, Chapter 276, Verses 3-14). 

ANIMISA. Verse 10, Chapter 101 of Udyoga Parva 
refers to one Animisa, son of Garuda. Also the word 
is used as a synonym of Siva (M.B., Anusasana Parva, 
Chapter 17, Verse 14) and of Visnu. (M.B., AnuSasana 
Parva, Chapter 149, Verse 36). 




ANIRUDDHA. Grandson of Sri Krsna. 

1 ) Genealogy. From Visnu was born in this order : 
Brahma, Atri, Candra, Budha, P u ruravas, Ayus, 
Nahusa, Yayati, Yadu, Sahasrajit, Satajit, Hehaya, 
Dharma, Kunti, Bhadrasena, Krtavlrya, Karttavlry- 
arjuna, Jayadhvaja, Talajarhgha, Vitihotra, Ananta, 
Durjaya, Yudhajit, Sini, Satyaka, Satyaki, Jaya, Kuni, 
Anamitra, Prsni, Citraratha, Viduratha, Sura, Sini, 
Bhoja, Hrdika, Surasena, Vasudeva, Sri Krsna, Pra- 
dyumna, Aniruddha. 

2) Birth. Sri Krsna had 16008 wives. Out of the 16008 
from Rukminl was born Pradyumna and from Pra- 
dyumna, Aniruddha. 

3) Kidnapped by Ufa. One of the stories about this 
handsome prince refers to his being kidnapped by Usa 
daughter of Banasura. Banasura, chief among the 100 
sons of emperor Mahabali had 1000 hands. Siva pleased 
by the sacrificial devotion of Banasura granted, as 
requested by him, the boon that he himself (Siva) and 
ParvatI would guard the fort of the Asura, of course 
with some reluctance. Now, none had the prowess to 
attack this valiant Asura. Overflowing with conceit at 
this he challenged Siva to a fight. Siva foretold that 
the flagstaff of Bana would one day be broken and 
then a powerful antagonist would defeat him. Bana 
impatiently awaited the threatened day. 

One day Usa happened to witness the scene of Siva 
and ParvatI engaged in love-making. Excited by the 
sight Usa too desired to enact such a scene with a lover, 
and she intimated her desire to Parvatl. ParvatI told 
her that Usa would, within three days, see in a dream 
a handsome prince with whom she might make love. 
Accordingly, dressed herself in all glory with choicest 
ornaments Usa awaited the happy day. On the third 
day a handsome prince appeared before her in her 
dream. Waking up, she began crying. Seeing Usa crying 
Citralekha, her companion, and daughter of her father's 
minister, assured her (Usa) that whoever might be the 
prince who appeared in her dream shall be brought 
down with the power of Mantra. Citralekha drew the 
pictures of all princes known to her and showed them to 
Usa. The pictures represented all handsome men from 
Devas to men. 'No, this is not my prince charming' was 
Usa's reply. Then Citralekha drew the picture of Sri Krsna 
of Pradyumna. and then of Aniruddha. When Usa saw 
Aniruddha's picture she stretched her hands to embrace 
that. It was this prince who had appeared before her 
in the dream. 

Next night Citralekha, by the power of her Mantra, 
brought into Usa's room from Dvaraka. Aniruddha, who 
was then in his sleep. While Usa and Aniruddha were 
thus together in the room her father, Bana, got scent 
of it and took Aniruddha into custody. 
The disappearance of Aniruddha led to much commotion 
in Dvaraka. Then Narada reached Dvaraka and gave 
details about the Aniruddha incident. Sri Krsna and 
Pradyumna, in all rage, hurried to Bana's palace and 
encircled his palace with a strong army. ThendidBana's 
flagstaff break into two and fell down. The fierce fight 
that ensued ended in the defeat of Bana. Aniruddha 
married Usa and the elated couple started for Dvaraka. 
Vajra was the son of Aniruddha. (Bhagavata, Dasatna 
Skandha, Chapters 61, 62 and 63) . 
4) More information. (1) It was at the feet O f Arjuna 
that Aniruddha mastered the Dhanurveda (Science 

of warfare). (M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 

(2) Aniruddha is also conceived in the forms of Visnu 
and Brahma. (M.B., Bhisma Parva, Chapter 65, 
Verses 69 and 70). 

(3) Brahma was born from the abdominal centre of 
Aniruddha when the latter had taken the form of Visnu. 
(M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 341, Verses 15-17). 

(4) The word Aniruddha is also used as a synonym of 
Visnu. (M.B., Anusr.sana Parva, Chapter 149, Verse 

ANIRUDDHA II. The Mahabharata refers to another 
Aniruddha who belonged to the Vrsni dynasty. Both 
the Aniruddhas were present at the wedding of Pancall. 
(M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 185, Verses 17-20). 

ANIRUDDHA III. The Mahabharata mentions yet 
another King Aniruddha. He did not eat flesh. (M.B., 
Anusasana Parva, Chapter 115, Verse 15). 

ANJALIKASRAMA. This is a sacred place. One who 
lives at this Tirtha for some time, gets the benefit of 
visiting the sacred tirtha at Kanyakumari ten times. 
(M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 52). 

ANJALIKAVEDHA(M). This is an art by which an 
elephant could be made to stand submissively. Bh'ma- 
sena had mastered this art. (M.B., Drona Parva. 
Chapter 26, Verse 23). 

ANJANA. 1) Mother of Hanuman Wife of Kesari, 
the noble monkey and daughter of Kunjara, the monkey 
leader. She was the mother of Hanuman. Once while 
Siva and ParvatI were gamboling in the guise of monkeys, 
rambling through the woods, ParvatI became pregnant. 
That pregnancy was given to Vayu. At that time 
Aftjana was doing penance for an issue. Vayu transferred 
the pregnancy he had received from ParvatI to 
Aftjana. Thus Aryan'! gave birth to Hanuman. (Valmiki 
Ramayana, Kiskindha Kanda, Sarga 66) . 
Aftjana gave birth to Hanuman in the woods in a valley 
on the southern side of Mahameru. She was frightened 
at the sight of the child shining like the sun. Hanuman 
began to cry for mother's milk. Aiijana said to Hanu- 
man : "Monkeys are fond of red ripe fruits. There- 
fore eat whatever you find in red colour." Saying this 
Aftjana transformed herself into a goddess and went to 

2) Purvajanma ( Previous Birth ) . In her previous 
birth Aftjana was a goddess named Punjikastala (Mana- 
garva) . As a result of a curse, this goddess was born 
as a she-monkey in the Himalaya region. With the birth 
of Hanuman, the curse was lifted. (Uttara Ramayana). 
For more details see "Punjikastala". 

ANJANA. This is an elephant belonging to the Asuras. 
His origin is in the f mily of Supratlka. The other 
three elephants born in this family are : Airavata, 
Vamana and Kumuda. (This Airavata was not the 
Airavata of Devendra). There are references to 
Raksasas coming to the battle-field on the back of 
elephants. There is another mention of Aftjana the 
elephant standing in the battle-field. (M.B., Udyoga 
Parva, Chapter 99, Verse 15; Bhisma Parva, Chapter 64, 
Verse 57; Drona Parva, Chapter 112, Verse 32). 

ANJANA(M). This is the name of a mountain. (M.B., 
Sabha Parva, Chapter 98, Verse 15). 

ANJANA PARVAN. He was the son of Ghatotkaca and 
grandson of Bhimasena. For genealogy, see BHlMA- 
SENA. (M.B., Udyoga Parva, Chapter 194, Verse 20). 




Asvatthama, the son of Drona, killed Afljanaparva. 
(M.B., Drona Parva, Chapter 196, Verse 89) . 

AXKTA. Son born to Hhhsa by Adharma. (Visnu 

AXKTAM (ASATYA). Hirhsa, the wife of Adharma, 
gave birth to daughters, Anrta and Nikrti, and from 
them were born Bhaya, Naraka, Maya and Vedana. 
And, May'i begot Mrtyu, the killer of all living beings. 
From Vedana was bom sorrow. And from Mrtyu were 
born disease (vyaclhi) , Jara (wrinkles), Soka (grief), 
Trsna(desire) and Krodha (anger). (Agni Purana, 
Chapter 20). 

ANTACARA(M). A place in ancient India. (M.B., 
Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 68). 

ANTAKA I. Once the Devas, under the auspices of 
emperor Prthu, turned goddess earth into a cow and 
milked her. The result was twelve yamas, and Antaka 
was one of the twelve. (See Prthu). (M.B., Drona 
Parva, Chapter 69, Verse 26) . 

ANTAKA II. The Rgveda makes mention of one 
R;ijarsi, Antaka. (Rgveda, Mandala 1, Anuvaka 16, 


ANTARDHAMA. Son of King Arhsa of the Manu dy- 
nasty. He had a son called Havirdhama. (M.B., Anu- 
gasana Parva, Chapter 147, Verse 23). And for 
genealogy see Manuvams'a. 

ANTARDHANA. A King, the son of Prthu. (For genea- 
logy see Prthu) . (Visnu Purana, Part 1, Chapter 11). 

ANTARDHANA (M) ." A weapon of Kubera. (M.B., 
Vana Parva, Chapter 41, Verse 38). 

ANTARDHI. A son of emperor Prthu. (Agni Purana, 
Chapter 18) . For genealogy see Prthu. 

ANTARGIRI. A place in between the Himalaya ranges. 
(M.B., Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 49). Arjuna 
conquered this place. (M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 
27, Verse 3) . 

ANTARlKSA I. One of the seven sons of Murasura, the 
other six being Tamra, Sravana, Vasu, Vibhavasu, 
Nabhasvan and Aruna. After the death of their father 
they quarrelled with Sri Krsna and were killed by him. 
(Bhagavata, Dasama Skandha, Chapter 59, Verse 19) . 

ANTARlKSA II. A Raja named Antariksa is men- 
tioned in the Bhagavata. 

Genealogy. Visnu, Brahma, Svayambhuva, Priyavrata, 
Agmdhra, Nabhi, Rsabha, Antariksa. Svayambhuva 
Manu had two sons, Uttanapada and Priyavrata. 
Dhruva was the son of Uttanapada. Priyavrata married 
Barhisrnati, and they had eleven children including 
Agmdhra. Agnidhra married Purvacitti, a Deva wo- 
man, and they became parents to nine sons, viz. Nabhi, 
Kimpurusa, Hari, Ilavrta, Ramyaka, Hiranmaya, 
Kuru, BhadraSva and Ketumala. Nabhi wedded Meru- 
devi, and to them were born 100 sons. The eldest son 
was Bharata, after whom this country (India) is 
named.'i.e., Bharata. Bharata had 9 younger brothers, 
namely Kusavarta, Havana, Brahmavarta, Malaya, 
Ketu, Bhadrasena, Indrasprk, Vidarbha and Klkafa. * 
These brothers had nine younger brothers who were all 
highly evolved yogis. They were Kavi, Hari, Anta- 
riksa, Prabuddha, Pippalayana, Avirhotra, Dramida, 
Camasa and Karabhajana. (Bhagavata, Pancama 
Skandha, Chapteis 1-4). 

ANTARVASA. A place in ancient India. (M.B., Sabha 
Parva, Chapter 59, Verse 17). 


AJ^U. The Prince n,amed Aim was the son-in-law of 
Suka Brahmarsi, son of Vyasa. Suka Brahmarsi married 
tlic beautiful Plvarl, the daughter of the Pitrs. Suka- 
deva and Pi van had four sons: Krsna, Gauraprabha, 
Bhuri and Devasruta and a daughter named Kirti. 
Kirti was married to Prince Arm the son of Digbhraja. 
(Devi Bhagavata, Prathama Skandha) . 

ANUCAKRA. One of the two attendants deputed by 
Tvasta (a Prajapati) to help Skar.da in war, the other 
being Cakra. (M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 
40). _ 

ANUCANA. A nymph. This Devastri, along with other 
nymphs came down on earth at the time of the birth 
of Arjuna and danced. (Adi Parva, Chapter 122, 
Verse "61). 

ANUDATTA. One of the five sons created by Panca- 
janya for the Pitrs. (M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 220, 
Verse 10). 

ANUDATTA (M), The fire (Agni) called Pancajanya 
created the elements named Anudattas. Pancajanya 
generated these elements from his two hands with 
the help of his spiritual strength (tapassakti) . (M.B., 
Vana Parva, Chapter 220, Verse 10) . 

ANUDARA. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. 
(See Kauravas) . 

ANUDRUHYU. Son of Yayati. 

1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu thus: Brahma, 
Atri, Candra, Budha, Pururavas, Ayus, Nahusa, 
Yayati, Anudruhyu. 

2) Birth. Yayati had two sons, Yadu and Turvasu, by 
Devayanl, and three sons, Druhyu, Anudruhyu and 
Puru by Sarmistha. (Agni Purana, Chapter 12). 

ANUDYOTAPARVA. An inner parva of Sabha Parva. 
In this parva is told the story of the game of dice 
played between Duryodhana and Dharmaputra. 

ANUGlTAPARVA. A sub-section of As vamedha Parva. 
(See M.B.). 

ANUGOPTA. A Visvadeva. (M.B.. Anusasana Parva, 
Chapter 91, Verse 37). 

AlilUHA. A King in ancient India. (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 1 , Verse 232). 

ANUHLADA. Brother of Prahlada. 

1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu thus: Visnu, 
Brahma, KaSyapa Hiranyakasipu, Anuhlada. 
2}Birth. KaSyapa married Did, daughter of Daska. Dili 
was a younger sister of Aditi. The sons of Aditi became 
devas and the sons of Dili became asuras. Dili gave 
birth to two sons named Hiranyaksa and Hiranya- 
kasipu and a daughter Sirhhika. Simhika was given in 
marriage to Vipracitti. They had two sons, Rahu and 
Ketu. Five sons were born to Hiranyaksa and four sons 
were born to Hiranyakasipu. These four sons were : 
Anuhlada, Hlada, Prahlada and Sarhhlada. (Visnu 
Purana, ArriSa 1, Chapter 15 and Agni Purana, Chap- 
ter 19). 

ANUKARMA. A Visvadeva. (M.B., Anusasana Parva, 
Chapter 91, Verse 39). 

ANUKRAMA1VIKA PARVA. The Mahabharata is di- 
vided into 18 parvans. The first of them is called Adi 
Parva and the first of its many sub-divisions is nartied 

*Ramanuja's Bhagavata (Malayalam) mentions one Aryavarta also as Bharata's younger brother. But (the name does not occur in the 
original. ^See Bhagavata, Chapter 4, Verse 10.) 




Anukramanika Parva. And, in this parva (Chapter) 
Ugrasravas (Sutanandaria) son of Lomaharsana begins 
telling the Bharata story at the yajna (of 12 years' 
duration) held by Kulapati Saunaka at the forest of 
Naimisa. Vyasa composing the Mahabharata, the 
creation of the world, the greatness of the Mahabharata, 
Vyasa teaching his disciples the Mahabharata all this 
comes in this narration. ( See Mahabharata) . 
ANUMATI. Daughter of Angiras, son of Brahma. Angiras 
had .two wives, Smrti and Khyati , and four daughters, 
Anumati, Raka, Kuhu and Sinlvali by Smrti, and three 
sons, Ucatthya, Brhaspati, Sarhvarta by Khyati. (Visnu 
Purana, Part 1, Chapter 10). 
ANUMLOCA. Anapsaras. (Harivamsa 326) . 
ANUPAKA. A warrior from Anupa(m). 
ANUPA (M) . A famous place in ancient India. Some 
scholars hold the view that Anupa is near river 
Narmada. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 51, Verse 24). 
ANUPATI. A synonym of Karttavlrya. (Vana Parva, 

Chapter 116, Verse 19). 
ANUPAVRTTA. A place in ancient India. (M.B., 

Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 48). 
ANUSASANA PARVA. One of the Parvans of the Maha- 
bharata. (See Bharata). 
ANUSNA. A river in ancient India. (M.B., Bhisma 

Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 24). 
ANUSRUTASRAVAS. Son of Somali (Visnu 

Purana ) . 

ANUSTUP. One of the seven horses of the Sun God, 
the other six being, Gayatri, Brhati, Usnik, Jagati, 
Tristup and Parikti. (Visnu Purana, Part II, Chapter 

ANUVINDA I. One of the 100 sons of Dhrtarastra. 
There is a story in the Mahabharata about his being 
imprisoned along with Duryodhana. Knowing that the 
Pandavas were living in the forest in all comfort and 
happiness Duryodhana and others went in precession to 
them. Anuvinda also was in the procession. While 
Duryodhana and party were staying in a tent in the 
forest, a Gandharva named Citrasena appeared on the 
scene and imprisoned them. Anuvinda too was im- 
prisoned. (See Citrasena). (M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 
242, Verse 8) . He was killed in war by Bhimasena. 
(M.B., Drona Parva, Chapter 127, Verse 66) . 
ANUVINDA II. The puranas refer to one Anuvinda, a 
prince of Avanti. (1) He had a brother called Vinda. 
(2) He was defeated by Sahadeva who set forth to sub- 
jugate the kings of the south just before the Rajasuya 
yajna of Dharmaputra. (M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 
31, Verse 10). (3) An Aksauhini (division of army) 
was despatched by Anuvinda to help Duryodhana. 
(M.B., Udyoga Parva, Chapter 19, Verses 24, 25). (4) 
On the first day of the war Vinda and Anuvinda fought 
duels with Kuntibhoja. (M.B., Bhisma Parva, Chapter 
45, Verses 72-75) . (5) Iravan, sonofArjuna defeated 
both Vinda and Anuvinda in the battle. (M.B., Bhisma 
Parva, Chapter 83, Verse, 18-22). (6) They fought with 
Bhima, Arjuna and the king of Virata. (M.B., Drona 
Parva, Chapter 25, Verses 20). (7) Anuvinda was killed 
by Arjuna. (M.B., Drona parva, Chapter 399, Verses 
27-29). (8) Vinda and Anuvinda had a sister called 
Mitravinda. The three of them were the children of 
Rajadhidevi, sister of Sri Krsna's father. Sri Krsna 
married Mitravinda, which her brother did not like. 
This was their reason for quitting the Pandava camp 

and fighting on the side of the Kauravas. (BhSgavata, 
Dasama Skandha, Chapter 58, Verses 30, 31). 
ANUVINDA III. The Mahabharata refers to another 
prince Anuvinda also. He was the son of a Kekaya- 
raja. He also fought against the Pandavas and was 
killed by Satyaki. (M.B., Kama Parva, Chapter 13, 
Verse 21). 

ANUVINDA. A wife of Sri Krsna. ( Padma Purana) . 
ANUYAYI. One of the 100 sons of Dhrtarastra. He is 
called Agrayayi also; he was killed in battle by Bhima- 
sena. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 102; 
Chapter 116, Verse 11 and Drona Parva, Chapter 157, 
Verses 17-20). 

ANVAGBHANU. A King of the Puru dynasty. (For 
genealogy see Puru dynasty) . Puru had three sons, 
Isvara, Raudrasva and Pravlra. He had also another 
son Manasyu by Suraseni, another wife. Anvagbhanu is 
the son born to Manasyu and his apsara wife, Mitra- 
kesi. Anvagbhanu is known as Rceyu and Anadhrsti 
also. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Verses 8-12). 
APALA. A daughter of the great sage, Atri. Suffering 
from leprosy and hence forsaken by her husband Apala 
stayed with her father and started tapas to please 
Indra. One day, on her way home from the river, 
Apala tasted the Soma which was meant to be offered 
to Indra and hearing the sound produced then 
Devendra appeared before Apala. She gave the Soma 
to Indra, who was so pleased with her that he cured 
her of her leprosy. (Rgveda, 8-91). 

APANTARATAMAS. 1) General. A Maharsi (Great 
Sage) . He was born out of the sound 'bhu' uttered by 
Mahavisnu. The sage is also known as Sarasvata and 
Apantaratamas. Because he was absolutely free from 
inner darkness or ignorance he was called Apantara- 
tamas. The sage, who was cognizant of the past, the 
present and the future divided and systematized the 
Vedas as ordered by Visnu. 

2) Vyasa was Apantaratamas reborn. Mahavisnu 
ordained that in the Dvapara age he be born as the 
son of Parasara and once again divide and systematize 
the Vedas, and so was he born as Vyasa. (Sri Saiikara's 
Mundakopanisad and Brahmasutra Bhasya) . 
APANTARATAMA. (Sarasvata) . This is another name 

of Apantaratamas. (See Aplntaratamas) . 
APARABRAHMA. (See Parabrahma). 
APARAJITA I. One of the serpents born to Kasyapa 
ofKadru. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 35, Verse 13). 
APARAJITA II. A King born out of a part of one of 
the eight Asuras. who were known the Kalakeyas. 
( M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 49) . The Pandavas 
had invited this King before they went to war. (M.B., 
Udyoga Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 21 ). 
APARAJITA III. A son of Dhrtarastra. (M.B., Adi 
Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 101). Bhimasena killed him. 
(M.B., Bhisma Parva, Chapter 21, Verse 22). 
APARAJITA IV. A King of the Kuruvarhsa. (M.B., 

Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Verse 54) . 

APARAJITA V. One of the eleven Rudras, the other 

ten being Hara, Bahurupa, Tryambaka, Vrsakapi, 

Sambhu, KapardI, Raivata, Mrgavyadha, Sarpa and 

Kapali. (Agni Purana, Chapter 18) . 

APARAJITA VI. Used as a synonym of Mahavisnu. 

(M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 149, Verse 89). 
APARAKASI. A place in ancient India. (M.B., Bhisma 
Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 42). 




Al'ARAKUXTI. A place in ancient India. (M.B., Bhisma 
Parva, Clhapter 9, Verse 43). 

APARAMLECCHA(M). A place in ancient India. 
(,M.B., Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 65). 

APARANANDA. A river. Arjuna once crossed it. (M.B., 
Adi Parva, Chapter 214, Verses 6 and 7). Apara- 
nanda. is counted among the prominent holy rivers. 
M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 165, Verse 28). 

APARANTA I. A city on the west coast of ancient 
South India. (M.B., Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 

APARANTA II. Another name of the Surparaka temple. 
(M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 4 9, Verse 67) . 

APARASEKA(M). A place in ancient India. (M.B., 
Sabha Parva, Chapter 31, Verse 9). 

APARAVALLAVA (M) ., A place in ancient India. 
(M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 62). 

APARAVIDYA. Knowledge is of two categories or 
types. Viz. 

I) Paravldyd. That science or knowledge, which helps 
us to know or realise Him (Brahma) who is without 
either beginning or end, who could neither be seen 
with the eyes nor perceived by any of the senses. 
(2) Apardvidyd. This includes knowledge of the four 
Vcdas Rg, Yajus, Sama and Atharva, the six Vedarigas 
(sub-divisions of the Vedas) Siksa, Kalpa, Nirukta, 
Chandas, Vyakarana, Apidhana, Mlmariisa, Dharma- 
sastra and the puranas, as also, Nyaya Sastra (Logic), 
Vaidya Sastra (medicine) Gandharva Sastra, Dhanur- 
veda and Artha Sastra (economics). 

APODADHAUMYA. (See Ayodhadhaumya). 

APPAYYADlKSITA. A reputed Rhetorician in Sans- 
krit, who thrived in the 16th Century A. D. Rewrote 
two treatises on rhetoric, the Kuvalayananda and 
Citramimamsa. The former is an interpretation of 
chapter 5 of Jayadeva's Candraloka and is very popu- 
lari n South India- 

APRACI. A hell. (See Naraka) . (Visnu Purana, Part 2, 
Chapter 6) 

APRATISTHA (M) . A hell. ( See Naraka ) . 

APSARAS.* An Apsaras is a nymph (devastrl). These 
apsara women were born at the churning of the ocean 
of Milk. (Valmiki Ramayana, Balakanda, Chapter 45, 
Verse 32 and Visnu Purana, Pait I, Chapter 9 and 
Agni Purana, Chapter 3) . There are thousands of 
Apsaras. (Details given against the names of Apsaras). 

APSUHOMYA. A great sage ( Maharsi ) who adorned 
the assembly of Yudhisthira. (M.B., Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 4, Verse 12) . 

ARA(ARAJAS). Daughter of Sukra maharsi. Iksvaku 
begot three sons, Danda, Vikuksi and Nimi. After his 
lather's death Danda became king of the country bet- 
ween the Vindhya and the Himalayas. In the course 
of a hunting expedition once Danda saw and was imme- 
diately attracted by the charms of Ara, daughter of 
Sukra maharsi. He committed rape on her and she 
told her father about the attack by Danda. The Maha- 
rsi asked his daughter to do tapas, and further told 

her that he would burn Danda's kingdom by a rain of 
fire. Ara did tapas, and at the behest of the Maharsi 
Indra destroyed Danda's kingdom by a downpour of^ 
rain of fire. Afterwards this place became a terrible 
forest where neither birds nor animals lived, and came 
to be known as Dandakaranya. (Uttara Ramayana). 

ARAKK1LLAM. (Palace of' wax) . Both the Kaurava 
and the Pandava princes lived in Hastinapura. The 
Pandavas became experts in archery, and their exemplary 
character and conduct made them, so to say, the apple 
of their eyes to the people. This evoked great jealousy 
in Duryodhana who made up his mind to completely 
ruin the Pandavas somehow or other. Duryodhana, with 
Dhrtarasfra's consent, built a new palace at Varana- 
vata. Though many others did not know that the 
palace was made of wax the Pandavas, from secret 
information knew the fact. But, they only pretended 
ignorance. Duryodhana and his minister Purocana, 
saw to it that the Pandavas shifted their residence to 
the waxen palace. Duryodhana had planned to set fiie 
to the palace and burn to death the Pandavas. But, the 
shrewd Vidura through his messenger Kanaka gave 
notice of the conspiracy to the Pandavas just in time. 
One night Purocana set fire to the waxen palace, but 
the Pandavas escaped by a secret passage, which the 
architect of the palace had made while constructing 
it, and about which the Pandavas had previous know- 
ledge. The same night a huntsman, with his five children, 
was also staying in the palace. As they were uncon- 
scious with heavy dosage of liquor they could not es- 
cape the fire. Those six people, and accidentally 
Purocana too were burnt to death. People, who gather- 
ed at the spot, thus saw seven corpses, and the news 
was broadcast that the Pandavas, including their wife 
Pancali and their mother had been burnt to dtath. 
This incident took place one year after the Pandavas 
had shifted their residence to the waxen palace. (M.B., 
Adi Parva, Chapters 141-151). 

ARALI. One of the sons who were Brahmavadins, of 
Visvamitra. (M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 

, 58). 

ARANTUKA. A guard posted at a boundary line of 
Kuurksetra. (M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 83, Verse 


ARANTUKA. A sacred spot in ancient India, in river 
Sarasvatl. A bath there is as beneficial as performing 
the Agnistoma yajna. (M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 53, 
Verse 24) . 

AR\NYA. A King of the Iksvaku dynasty. (See Iksvaku 
dynasty) . 

ARANYA PARVA. A sub Parva in the Mahabharata. 
(See Mahabharata). 

ARATTA(M). A place in ancient India. After Drona 
was killed in the great war, Krtavarma ran away with 
the warriors of Aratta. (M.B., Drona Parva, Chapter 
193, Verse 13). 

*Ari$tha, a wife of Kasyapa, delivered thirteen Apsaias. They were : Alambusa, Misrakesi, Vidyutparna, Tilottama, Raksita, 
Kambha, Manorama, Kesini, Subahu, Suraja. Surata and Supriya. Ari?tha gave birth also to four Gandharvas, Haha, Huhu, Atibuhu 
and Tumburu as mentioned in the following verse. 

AristasiUa Subhagadevi devarsitah pura 

Alambusa misrakesi Vidyutparna Tilottama 

Aruna raksita caiva rambha tadvat manorama 

KesinT ca subahusca vikhyatau ca hahahuhu 

Tumburusceti catvarah srnrtah gandharvaaattamah. 




ARAYANNAM. The swan (Harhsa). 

1 ) General. A bird (Hamsa) in Devaloka. The prefix 
'ara' denotes royalty, sublimity, greatness etc. Many 
puranas describe Arayannam as a bird of the Devas. 
Manasasaras at the heights of the Himalayas is the 
permanent abode of these divine birds. They do not 
like the rainy season. So they come down to the earth 
when rain begins at the Manasasaras, and go back to 
the Saras, when rain begins on the earth. This pheno- 
menon explains Cerusseri's (Malayalam poet) state- 
ment in his Krsnagatha that 'when rain set in hamsas 
Arayannams began flying away'. 

2) Origin. Kasyapa, the son of Brahma, married the 
eight daughters of Daksa, Tamra. being one of them. 
Tamra bore five daughters Kraunci, Bhasi, Syeni, 
Dhrtarastri and Suki. Syeni gave birth to the kite, 
Dhrtarasfri, the Harhsa and the Koka and Suki the 
Sukas (doves). Koka or the Gakravaki bird is the sister 
of Harhsa. This is how the Arayanna and the Cakra- 
vaka got Devatva (divinity). (Valmiki Ramayana, 
Aranyakanda, Canto 14) . 

3) Bhifma and the Arayanna. SiSupala, before his death, 
blabbered a lot of unbecoming things about Bhisma, 
whojwas partial to his (Sisupala's) enemies. And, he rela- 
ted the story of an Arayanna to elaborate the stand taken 
by the aged Bhisma. An aged Harhsa (Arayanna ) which 
once dwelt on the sea-coast preached to all the other 
birds much about ethical actions. The birds felt great res- 
pect for the Arayanna. They flew across the sea in search 
of prey after entrusting their eggs to the Arayanna. The 
old Arayanna grew fat on those eggs. There was one 
intelligent bird among the lot, and when it looked for 
the eggs they were not to be found. That bird informed 
its colleagues about the treacherous conduct of the 
Arayanna. The birds organised themselves and attacked 
the Arayanna to death. Oh ! Bhisma, the same will be 
your end also. (M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 41 Verses 

4) Mala and Arayanna. While Nala, the prince of the 
Nisadha kingdom was resting in a garden he saw an 
Arayanna in a tank there. Out of curious pleasure Nala 
caught it, but seeing its mental tremor he let it free. 
Out of gratitude for this generous act, the Arayanna 
played the role of the messenger for Nala to get as his 
wife Damayanti, the very beautiful daughter of the 
King of Vidarbha. 

5) How the Arayanna (Harhsa) got the white colour. Once 
king Marutta was conducting the Mahesvara Satra 
(a yaga) and Devas like Indra came down to receive 
their share of the Havis (oblations in the sacrificial 
fire) . And, this was the time when Ravana with his 
attendants was on his triumphal tour. Hearing that the 
Devas were at the Asrama of Marutta, Ravana also 
went there, and Indra and the other Devas, trembling 
with fear, assumed different disguises and hid them- 
selves away. Indra assumed the guise of the peacock, 
Yama of the crow, Kubera of the chameleon and 
Varuna of the Arayanna. Thus beguiled Ravana went 
his own way. The Devas, who thus escaped blessed the 
family of those birds whose forms they assumed. Indra 
shaped the blue feathers of the peacock with mixed 
colours and eyes like his own. Moreover, he blessed 
them that they would never be affected with any 
disease, and that they would dance with their feathers 
spread when rain set in. Yamadharma blessed the 

crows that they would get the offerings made on earth 
by men to their departed ancestors. And Bhagavan 
Varuna told the Raja-Harhsas : "I escaped the clutches 
of Ravana by assuming your shape and form. Therefore, 
be thee, who are now black and white, in future as 
purely white as milk". Kubera blessed the Chameleon 
with capacity to change colour as and how it pleased, 
and also for its cheeks to appear golden in colour to the 
onlookers. After thus blessing the birds the Devas dis- 
appeared. (Uttara Ramayana). 

ARBUDA. An Asura. Indra killed this Asura. (Rgveda, 
Mandala 1, Anuvaka 10, Sukta 51). 

ARBUDA I. A naga (serpent) living in mountains. 
(Sabha Parva, Chapter 21, Stanza 9). 

ARBUDA II. The mountain Abu. (Mahabharata > Vana 
Parva,_Chapter 82, Stanza 55) . 

ARCANANAS. A muni born in the Atreyagotra of the 
dynasty of Atri. He desired to marry Rathavlti. But 
her father had decided to give her in marriage only 
to a Maharsi, and, therefore Arcananas became a 
Maharsi with the help of the Marutta and wedded 
Rathaviti. Maharsi was their son. 

ARCISMATl. The fourth daughter of Maharsi Arigiras. 
(M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 216, Verse 6). 

ARCIS. Prthu and the Arcis were born from the arms 
of Vena. (Bhagavata, 4th Skandha, Chapter 15). Prth'.i 
did tapas in forest and gave up his physical body in 
fire and attained Vaikunfha (the abode of Visnu) with 
the Arcis. (Bhagavata, 4th Skandha). For details see 

ARCISMAT. A sect of Pitrs. (M.B., S~anti Parva. 
Chapter 236, Verse 15). 

ARDHADEVAS (SEMI-GODS). In temples hermits, 
ancestors, serpents, celestial maids and such others also 
are worshipped. Among these there are Vasus, Nagas, 
Asuras, Paisacas, Vetalas and many other classes. 
These are the semi-gods. (See Page 27 of Namva- 
nangum Daivaiigal). 

ARDHAKlLATlRTHA. A holy ghat or bath built by 
the hermit Darbhi. (Mahabharata, Vana Parva, 
Chapter 83, Stanza 153). 

ARDHASADHAKA. A minister of King DaSaratha. He 
had eight ministers. 

''The great king had eight ministers who were pure 
and famous and experts in dealing with matters of their 
concern : Jayanta, Dhrsti, Vijaya, Siddha, Ardha- 
sadhaka, ASoka, Mantrapala and Sumantra were 
they". (Valmiki Ramayana, Balakanda, Sarga 7, 
Stanzas 2 and 3 : Vallathol Translation) . 

ARGHABHIHANAPARVA. A parva in the Maha- 
bharata. (See M.B.). 

ARIHA. A King of the lunar dynasty. He was a son 
born to Arvaclna (a king of the Puru dynasty) and 
Maryada, a princess of Vidarbha. Ariha had a son, 
Mahabhauma, born of his wife, a princess of Anga. 
(M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 19, Verses 18-19). 

ARIMEJAYA. A Raja of the Puru dynasty. (See Puru 

dynasty). (Agni Purana, Chapter 278). 
ARISTA. Wife of Kasyapa. The Gandharvas were born 
of her. (Agni Purana, Chapter 19, M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 67, Verse 83) . 

ARISTA (ARISTAKA). Anasura, a servant of Kaihsa. 
Once, at the instance of Karhsa he went to Gokula 
disguised as an ox to kill Sri Krsna. The ox instilled 
terror in people by tearing to pieces hills and mountaisn 


with its horns and bellowing like hell. But Sri Krsna 
faced the beast, and rained blows on him and it was 
thrown hundred yojanas away and it died. At the time 
of death it regained its I'romer from as Asura. (Bhaga- 
vata, Dasama, Skandha, Chapter 37) . 

ARISTANEMA (ARISTANEMI). (See Aristanemi) . 

ARISTANEMI I. One of the six sons of Vinata. 

1) Genealogy. Visnu, Brahma, Kasyapa and Aristanemi. 
Kasyapa married Dhrtarastri, daughter of Daksa. SukI 
was their daughter, SukI had a daughter Nata and 
she a daughter, Vinata. Aristanemi, Tarksya, Aruna, 
Garuda, Para, Aruni and Sri Varuni were the children 
of Vinata. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 40) . 

2) Tapa&akti of Aristanemi. Aristanemi with his son 
was once performing tapas in the foiest. The son was 
immersed in meditation clad in the skin of a deer thus 
looking like a deer. Parapuranjaya, the King of Hehaya 
who happened at the time to be hunting in the forest 
discharged his arrow against the son of Aristanemi taking 
him for a deer. When the king found out the real fact 
he felt extremely sorry, and he craved pardon of the 
boy's father for unwittingly killing his son. Then Arista- 
nemi pointing out his son who was standing alive 
asked the King, "Is this the boy whom you killed ?" 
The King was naturally wonder-struck. But Arista- 
nemi told the King that there was nothing to wonder 
at in the case as nobody would be able to kill them be- 
cause their Tapa4sakti was so great. The King felt so 
happy at this, and returned to his palace after prostrat- 
ing at the feet of the sage. (M.B., Aranya Parva 
Chapter 184). 

3) Some other details. (1) Sumati, wife of King Sagara 
of the Solar dynasty, was the daughter of Aristanemi. 
(Ramayana, Balakanda, Canto 38, Verse 4). (2) 
Kasyapa had the synonym Aristanemi also. (Valmiki 
Ramayana, Kiskindhakanda, Canto 66, Verse 4 ; 
Devi Bhagavata, Saptama Skandha). (3) Aristanemi's 
wives delivered sixteen children. (Agni "Purana, 
Chapter 19). (4) Aristanemi has spoken a lot about 
the greatness of Brahmins. (M.B., Aranya Parva 
Chapter 184, Verses 17-22). (5) Aristanemi once gave 
much spiritual advice to Ki.ij Sagara of the Surya 
VamSa. (M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 288, Verses 

ARISTANEMI II. Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 
208, Verse 8 refers to one Aristanemi, the second son of 

ARISTANEMI III. A Raja called Aristanemi occupied 
a place m the council of Yama. (M.B., Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 8, Verse 9). 

ARISTANEMI IV. A false name assumed by Sahadeva 
while the Pandavas lived incognito in the Virata king- 
dom. (M.B., Virata Parva, Chapter 10, Verse 5) 

ARISTANEMI V. A synonym of Sri Krsna. (M.B., 
Udyoga Parva, Chapter 71, Verse 5). 

ARISTANEMI VI. A King. Realising the transient 
nature of worldly life, he gave up his kingdom and 
went to and did tapas at Mount Gandhamadana. Indra 
who was very much pleased at this sent a messenger 
with a vimana (aeroplane) to conduct the King to 
Svarga (heaven). When he was told that there was in 
Svarga also the states of being high or low, and fall 
happened when the effect of good actions decreased, 
the King gave up his desire for Svarga and sent back 
Indra's messenger. Then Indra sent the King with a 



messenger to the ASrama of Valmiki so that he might 
gam spiritual knowledge. Valmiki consoled the King 
with the advice that the telling, hearing and pondering 
over the story of the Ramayana alone would be enough 
to get eternal salvation. (Yoeavasistham) 
ARJUNA. The third of the Pandavas. 

1 ) Genealogy. Descended from' Visnu thus : Brahma, 
Am, Candra, Budha, Pururavas, Ayus, Nahusa, Yayati, 
Puru, Janamejaya, Pracinvan, Pravira, Namasyu, Vita- 
bhaya, Sundu, Bahuvidha, Samyati, Rahovadi, 
Kaudrasvan, Matinara, Santurodha, Dusyanta, Bharata, 

uhotra, Suhota, Gala, Gardda, Suketu, Brhatksetra 
Hasti, Ajamidha, Rksa, Samvarana, Kuru, Jahnu, 
Suratha, Viduratha, Sarvabhauma, Jayatsena, Ravyaya 
Bhavuka, Cakroddhata, Devatithi, Rksa,Bhima, Pratlca,' 
Santanu, Vyasa, Pandu, Arjuna. 

2) Previous birth. Arjuna and Sri Krsna are often re- 
ferred to as Naranarayanas (Nara and ' Narayana) . In 
their previous life they were two Rsis called Nara and 
Narayana, and from that time onwards they lived as 
inseparable companions and sons of the same parents. 
I hey entered Mahasamadhi at Badaryasrama in the 

Himalayas. Of the two Narayanarsi was a partial in- 
carnation of Visnu. About the Nararsi the Devi Bhaga- 
vata has the following to say : "Dharma had his 
origin in the heart of Brahma, and he earned great 
reputation for truthfulness and adherence to Vedic 
dharma. H e married the daughters of Daksa. Dharma 
had four sons, Hari, Krsna, Nara and Narayana. Of 
the four sons Hari and Krsna became great yogis, and 
Nara and Narayana, great tapasvins. Nara and Nara- 
yana did tapas, worshipping Brahma for 1000 years at 
the holy Badaryasrama in the plains of the Himalayas 
Nara was born in the next birth as Arjuna. (Devi 
Bhagavata, 4th Skandha) . See Nara. 
3) Birth. To Vicitravlrya son of Santanu was born 
L>nrtarastra by Ambika, and Pandu by Ambalika. 
andu had two wives, Kuntl and Madrl. The curse of a 
Muni made physical contacts with his wives impossible lor 
J andu. (See Pandu) . Kuntl, before her marriage had 
attended on Maharsi Durvasas who pleased with her 
service made a gift of five mantras to her. The effect 
of the mantras was that Kuntl would become mother of 
a son from him about whom she was thinking while she 
repeated the mantra. As soon as she got the mantras 
she retired to a solitary place and thinking of the Sun- 
.jrod repeated the first mantra. At once Suryadeva appear- 
ed and Karna was born to her by him. After assuring 
her that the incident would not affect her chastity Surya 
disappeared. Kuntl abandoned the child to float in the 
river Gaiiga, and stayed with Pandu keeping the other 
four mantras to herself. Since Pandu could not contact 
the body of his wives, with his permission Kuntl began 
practising the other four mantras one by one. By three 
mantras she got three sons, Dharmaputra from Kala 
Arjuna from Indra and Bhlmasena from the wind God 
(Vayu). The remaining one mantra Kuntl gave lo 
Madrl. She repeated it thinking of the Asvini ' Devas, 
and two sons, Nakula and Sahadeva were born to her 
(M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 63 onwards). 
4) Festival of birth. At the birth of Arjuna Kuntl heard 
a heavenly voice declare as follows : "Oh ! Kuntl ! 
your son will be equal to Siva in prowess and uncon- 
querable just as Indra is. After defeating all the Kin?s 
he will perform the Asvamedha thrice. He will please 




Siva and get the great weapon called Pasupata from 
him. On the orders of Indrahe will kill Nivatakavacas. 
Hearing the above prophecy the Devas played ecstatic 
music and flowers were showered from the sky. The 
Saptarsis, Prajapatis and other sages arrayed themselves 
in the sky. Thus, all animate and inanimate objects 
celebrated the birth of Arjuna. 

5) Naming. Sages from the top of the Satasrriga 
mountain came together to perform the christening 
ceremony of Arjuna. While enumerating the various 
names of Arjuna, it is said in the Virata Parva that 
Krsna was the name Pandu gave to his son. (M.B., Adi 
Parva, Chapter 123, Verse 20). 

6) Childhood. The Pandavas spent their childhood at 
Hastinapura with the Kauravas. Then Arjuna studied 
the art and science of using weapons, dance, music etc. 
along with the other boys. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 
129, Verse 1). Kasyapa, the high priest of Vasudeva 
did for Arjuna the usual Samskaras like Upanayana 
(wearing of the holy thread) etc. Arjuna was taught 
the first lessons in Dhanurveda (Science of archery) 
by Rajarsi Suka. _ Afterwards, Krpacarya became the 
preceptor of the Pandavas in Dhanurveda, and it was 
then that Dronacarya came. There is a particular story 
about Dronacarya becoming the guru. (See Drona). 

7) Special favour of Drona. Arjuna showed very great 
interest in the science of the use of weapons. Drona, the 
master, wanted to teach Asvatthama, his son, certain 
special things, and he began sending all his disciples to 
fetch water. Asvatthama used to be the first to return 
with the water, and before the others returned Drona 
began teaching Asvatthama the special lessons. Arjuna 
came to understand this programme and he began 
returning with water along with Asvatthama. Then 
the guru began teaching the special things to both 
Asvatthama and Arjuna. Drona instructed the cook 
not to serve Arjuna food in the darkness. While 
Arjuna was once taking his food, wind blew out the 
burning lamp, and Arjuna alone continued eating. 
Because of constant practice Arjuna was quite sure 
about the position of the hand and the mouth in 
the process of eating, and Arjuna surmised from this 
that archery also could be practised in darkness. He 
began practising them. The guru came to know of it, 
and witnessing Arjuna's performance praised Arjuna as 
a unique archer. (Bharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 132). 

8 ) Ekalavya's finger was cut. Ekalavya, son of Hiranya- 
dhanus, King of the Nisadas (a tribe of hunters, forest- 
men) approached Drona to learn the science of the 
use of weapons. Drona, the Brahmin, refused the prayer 
of this prince of the forest tribe. Ekalavya, after pros- 
trating at the feet of Drona returned to the woods, 
made an image of Drona with earth and meditating 
upon it as guru began practising the use of weapons. 
The Kauravas and the Pandavas went hunting in the 
forest. Seeing there Ekalavya with his matted hair and 
clad in deer skin the hunting dogs began barking at 
him. Ekalavya shot into the mouth of the dog seven 
arrows at one and the same moment. With the arrows 
thrust in the mouth the dogs ran back to the Pandavas, 
and they found out the culprit, Ekalavya, who claimed 
himself to be a disciple of Drona. Grief-stricken at this 
claim Arjuna hurried up to Drona and said: "You had 
pronounced me to be your foremost disciple without an 
equal. But, today Ekalavya, another disciple of yours 

has relegated me to the second place". Thereupon 
Drona went and saw Ekalavya in the forest. Ekalavya, 
in all devotion stood up and saluted the guru. And 
the guru said as follows : "Oh ! Ekalavya if thou 
art my disciple give me the daksina (fee) due to the 
guru, and I desire to get the thumb of your right hand as 
my fee". At once Ekalavya cut his thumb and gave it to 
Drona. Henceforth Arjuna became Drona's unequalled 
disciple. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 132). 

9) Arjuna got Brahmatirastra. When once Drona and 
his disciples were bathing in the river Gariga, a whale 
caught hold of the leg of the guru. The combined 
efforts of the disciples failed to extricate the leg from 
the grip of the whale. Ultimately Arjuna shot an arrow 
and released the guru's leg. Greatly pleased at this 
Drona imparted to Arjuna knowledge about Brahma- 
sirastra, and Arjuna was enjoined not to use the astra 
against men, but to use it only when confronting 
higher beings than men. [Bharata ( Malayalam) , Adi 
Parva, Chapter 133]. 

10) Competition in arms. When the training of the princes 
was almost over Dhrtarastra decided to have a rehear- 
sal of their attainments, and the scene for it also was 
set. The princes with bows and arrows appeared on 
the scene. Yudhisthira and others first exhibited their 
skill in shooting arrows in the order of their seniority. 
Every scene was explained to Dhi'tarastra by Vidura 
and to Gandhari by Sanjaya. Duryodhana and 
Bhima clashed with each other. Asvatthama pacified 
them and kept them apart. And, then Arjuna and 
Kama appeared on the scene, and the onlookers dec- 
lared them to be equal in skill in archery. When 
their shooting exhibition was over, Kama who got 
angry again rushed to the stage. Arjuna also got 
ready. Arjuna challenged Kama's eligibility on the 
ground that he was low-born and not a Ksatriya. At 
once Duryodhana proclaimed him as the King of Aiiga. 
Though this pacified the scene, this competition in 
archery served much to make the Kauravas and the 
Pandavas the bitterest of enemies. (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapters, 136, 137). 

1 1 ) Arjuna's gurudakfina (Offering of fee to the preceptor) . 
At the starting of training the princes Drona told them: 
"I have one thing in mind, and you must do it for 
me when you have completed the course of training. 
All the disciples except Arjuna kept silent at this, but 
Arjuna promised to fulfil the guru's wish at the 
proper time 

The training was over, and it was time for gurudaksina. 
Drona asked to be brought bound before him Drupada, 
King of Pancala. (For Drona's enmity towards Dru- 
pada see Drupada) . Thereupon the Pandavas marched 
to Pancala, and in a fierce battle Arjuna defeated 
Drupada. Though Bhima tried to kill Drupada Arjuna 
did not permit it, but took him bound to Drona. 
This ended Drona's hatred towards Drupada, who 
now gifted half his kingdom to Drona. Drona was 
very much pleased with Arjuna for the above act, 
and advised him to fight even him (Drona) if the 
latter opposed him (Arjuna) . To this Arjuna replied 
'Yes'. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 139, Verse 14) . With 
this promise to fight even the guru in case the guru 
attacked him Arjuna became the most reputed archer 
in Bharata. 




12) Jealousy of Dhrtardstra. After the gurudaksina Arjuna 
marched against the neigh curing kingdom. He de- 
ir.ued very easily in war the King of Yavana and the 
Kings Sauvira, Yipula and Sumitia. These victories of 
Arjuna made the Kauravas very anxious; Dhrtarastra 
brooded over it. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 138, Verses 
20-23) . 

13) Escape from the waxen palace. Duryodhana made 
up his mind to destroy the Pandavas somehow or 
other. He got the Pandavas to shift their residence to 
a palace made of wax at Varanavata. and one year after 
this the palace was set fire to. The Pandavas escaped 
death by fire through a tunnel and entered the forest, 
the next day. (See Arakkillam). 

14) Arjuna on the banks of river The Pandavas walk- 
ed much through the terrible forest, and after midnight 
reached the banks of the Gaiiga. At that time Arhgara- 
parna (Citraratha), the Gandharva was enjoying 
his time in the river with some Apsara women. The 
presence of men at the scene, the Gandharva did not 
relish. Arjuna and the Gandharva crossed in words, 
which led to a duel. In the duel the Gandharva was 
defeated. As the wife of the Gandharva prayed with 
tears in her eyes Arjuna spared him his life. The 
grateful Gandharva told the Pandavas many interesting 
stories. He also made a present of divine horses and 
imparted to them the esoteric knowledge called Caksusl- 
vidya. The Gandhar\ a finally told the Pandavas that 
they were attacked because they came without Agni and 
Ahuti in their front. He also explained this fact that 
Arjuna could subjugate him on account of his (Arjuna' s) 
genuine celibacy. (See Citraratha) . 

15) Pdtcalisvayamvara. Citraratha, during his talks 
with the andavas had pointed out to them the need to 
have a priest to lead and guide them in all matters, 
and accordingly they visited Dhaumyasrama and ins- 
talled the Maharsi (Dhaumya) as their priest. 

And, meantime, seeing thousands of people on their way 
to attend the Svayarhvara (marriage by open choice 
of husband by the girl) of Krsna (Pancali) daughter 
of the King of I ancala, the Pandavas also followed the 
crowd. Veda Vyasa, whom the Pandavas met on their 
way blessed them. King Drupada wished to give his 
daughter Krsna in marriage to Arjuna. The news that 
the nda as were burned to death in the palace of 
wax grieved Drupada. Yet he had made arrangements for 
a trial of strength by Heroes at the Svayarhvara. A 
tremendous bow was got ready and installed on the 
ground, and a machine constructed which was kept 
suspended in the air. The target was placed inside 
the machine. And then Drupada spoke thus: "My 
daughter shall be married to him who will bend the 
bow and with the first arrow hit the target placed 
inside the machine". (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 155, 
Verse 11). Great warriors like Duryodhana, Karna, 
SiSupala, Simsumara took their seats in the marriage 
hall. All the kings failed even to lift the bow up. Ulti- 
mately Arjuna lifted the bow and hit the target very 
easily. ' ancali put the wedding garland on Arjuna's 
neck. When the Pandavas returned to their mother 
with Pari cali m tne evening the mother from inside her 
room said: "What you have got today, my sons, you 
enjoy among yourselves." KuntI said this under the 
impression that what her sons had got was some 
Bhiksa. At any rate, in obedience to the above injunc- 

tion of the mother Pancali became wife to the five 
Pandavas. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapters 190, 191). 
16) Arjuna at Indraprastha. The Svayarhvara of Pancali 
broadcast news about the whereabouts of the Pandavas. 
Dhrtarastra brought them back to Indraprastha, and 
installed them in a new palace built at the place called 
Khandavaprastha. (Indraprastha) . Dharmaputra ruled 
a part of the country with Indraprastha as capital. 
Narada went there once and advised the Pandavas to 
guard themselves against mutual quarrels as the five of 
them claimed one and the same woman as wife. Thence- 
forth it was set forth that Pancali would live with each 
husband in turn for one year. It was also settled that 
during a particular year if any other husband than the 
one whose turn it was to live with IMncali saw her the 
intruder was to go on a pilgrimage for one year. 
Once a brahmin came to the palace complaining that 
his cows were stolen by thieves, and Arjuna promised to 
help him. Arjuna did so without remembering that all 
his weapons were stored inDharmaputra's palace. That 
year Pancali was living with Dharmaputra. Forgetting 
the fact Arjuna went to Dharmaputra's palace, got his 
weapons and helped the brahmin. For thus breaking 
the rule Arjuna left his palace on a pilgrimage for one 

17A) Arjuna married Ulupikd and Citrangada. Arjuna 
with his bow and arrows went into the forest. Many 
brahmins followed him. Arjuna reached the banks of 
Gaiiga and entered the waters for a bath. Here Arjuna 
was attracted by Ulupika, daughter of the Naga King 
and he married her. A son was born to them called Ira- 
van. After visiting places likeAgastyavatam, Vasisthagiri 
Arjuna reached Manalur. He married Citrangada, 
daughter of Citrangada, King of Manalur. After a stay 
of three months there he went southwards. Citrangada 
gave birth to a son named Babhruvahana' 
17B ) The mark on Arjuna's flag is Hanumdn, and the 
following story is attached to it. Arjuna, once during a 
tour of the country was much surprised to see the Dam 
constructed by Sri Rama from Ramesvara to Lanka. 
He also felt that it was not at all proper on the part 
of Sri Rama to have sought the help of monkeys to 
construct the dam. Sri Rama could have made a dam 
with arrows. Arjuna put this question to a great 
scholar (Pandit) who was sitting nearby reading the 
Ramayana. Neither the Pandit nor the other brahmins 
gathered there could give a convincing answer to Ar- 
juna's doubts. Then a monkey child went up to Arjuna 
and told him with pride that a dam made of arrows 
would have broken when the monkeys walked on it. 
Arjuna said then, "no, no, no monkey will be able to 
break the dam built with Rama's arrows; which monkey 
will break a dam of arrows made even by me ?" And, 
a debate began about the subject. The monkey and 
Arjuna agreed to a bet that if a monkey broke the dam 
made by Arjuna he would end his life by jumping into 
fire, and if the monkey could not break the dam it 
would for ever be Arjuna's slave. Arjuna constructed 
a dam with arrows. And, as soon as the monkey set 
foot on it it was broken. Arjuna tried again. Though 
now it caused some efforts on the part of the monkey 
the dam broke this time also. Arjuna was thus left with 
no alternative but to die by jumping into fire and a 
fire was accordingly lit. Before Arjuna jumped into the 
fire a brahmin boy, who was bathing in the river ran 




upto Arjuna and told him that his attempt at self 
annihilation was not justified as the bet was made with- 
out an arbiter. When Arjuna who was wedded so 
much to truth brushed aside this argument and got 
ready to end his life the boy said : "If you are so very 
insistent about it you (Arjuna and the monkey) com- 
pete once again with me as arbiter. This suggestion of 
the boy was accepted. The monkey child tried its best 
to break the dam, but it failed. It developed its body 
to the size of a mountain and jumped on the dam. 
Even then it did not break. Then he ran up to the boy 
who was acting as arbiter and prostrated at his feet 
crying 'Ramacandra'. At the same moment Aijuna 
also prostrated before the boy crying 'Sri Krsna, slave 
to devotees'. The boy asked both of them to get up, 
and after admonishing them for their conceit gave them 
good advice. He also asked the monkey child to keep 
his word by remaining as the emblem of Arjuna's flag. 
(The monkey boy was actually Hanuman and the 
brahmin boy Sri Krsna). 

1 7 C ) Arjuna married Subhadrd. Arjuna went to the holy 
place called Saubhadratlrtha and redeemed the woman 
named Varga from the curse she was labouring under. 
(See Varga) . Arjuna continued his journey and reached 
Gokarna and Prabhasa tirtha, where he met Gada, 
brother of Sri Krsna. Gada described to Arjuna the 
great beauty of his sister, Subhadra. Arjuna went to 
Dvaraka and paid his respects to Sri Kt'sna. A few days 
later the yadavas celebrated a great festival at mount 
Raivataka. Aijuna went there disguised as a Sannyasin 
and forcibly took away Subhadra with him with the 
permission of Sri Krsna. Though the yadavas got ready 
for a fight they were ultimately pacified, and Subhadra 
was married to Arjuna. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter, 

17D) Brahmin boy saved. When once Arjuna was in 
Dvaraka with Sri Krsna a brahmin appeared on the 
scene lamenting that his child died as soon as it was 
born. Nobody paid any heed to this, and then Arjuna 
rose up and assured protection to the next child to be 
born to the brahmin and asked him to return home in 
peace. Arjuna also vowed that he would end his life 
by jumping into fire if he failed to protect the next 
child of the brahmin. 

As the time for the delivery of his wife approached the 
brahmin took Arjuna home. Arjuna made the house 
secure by making an enclosure with his arrows. Yet 
the child died; not only that, at the time of birth it- 
self its body disappeared. And. the brahmin heaped 
insults on Arjuna, who looked very foolish. Rendered 
thus an object of ridicule Arjuna began to make a fire 
for him to jump into. At this Sri Krsna appeared be- 
fore Arjuna and prevented him from jumping into fire. 
And then both Krsna and Arjuna went to Visnuloka 
and submitted the case of the brahmin to him. Visnu 
told them : "Oh ! Krsna and Arjuna, it was I who took 
away the brahmin boys for the pleasure of seeing you 
both here. You may immediately return with the brah- 
min boys. And, Krsna and Arjuna returned with the 
boys to the brahmin, who now felt very happy. 
(Bhagavata, Dasama Skandha ; Chapter 89) . 
17E) Burning of Khandava forest. While Krsna and Arjuna 
were spending their days on the banks of river Yamuna 
in the summer season Agni Bhagavan (the fire-god) 
requested them to give the Khandava forest as food to 

him. (See Khandavadaha ) . Arjuna agreed to oblige 
Agni Bhagavan, who presented to Arjuna the bow 
called Gandlva, a white horse and many other power- 
ful arrows. When Agni began burning ihe forest, Indra 
sent a heavy shower of rain. By creating a tent with 
arrows Arjuna saved the forest from the rain. Arjuna 
killed Taksaka's wife, cursed the called Asvasena 
and saved Maya, the architect of the Asuras who was 
put up in the forest. Indra was pleased and gifted many 
divine arrows to Arjuna. Maya gave the famous conch, 
Devadattam to Arjuna. By now the one year of the 
pilgrimage of Arjuna was over and he returned to 
Indraprastha. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapters 233-239). 
17P) Fight between Arjuna and Sri Krfna. (See Galava, 
para 4) . 

18) Again to the forest. Maya, who escaped death in 
Khandava forest, in his great gratitude, went to Indra- 
prastha, and with the permission of Dharmaputra built 
for the Pandavas an exceptionally beautiful palace. 
And then the Pandavas made the conquest of all the 
earth, and after killing enemy kings like Jarasandha, 
the Kimpurusas, the Hadakas, Sisupala, Kurundha and 
Bhagadatta returned to Idraprastha and performed 
the Rajasuya yajfla. The Kauravas who got jealous at 
this went on a visit to Indraprastha. When they enter- 
ed the palace built by Maya they were put into many 
a ludicrous situation. (See Sabhaprave:sa). Insulted 
and humiliated they returned to Hastinapura and 
challenged the Pandavas to a game of dice, and in the 
game the Pandavas lost not only their kingdom and 
other riches, but Pancall as well. Dussasana dragged 
Pancall and stripped her of her clothes in the royal 
assembly and thus mercilessly insulted her. According 
to the terms and condition agreed to with reference to 
the game of dice, the Pandavas had to lead forest life 
for twelve years and live for one year incognito. The 
Pandavas again started for the forest. (M.B., Sabha 
Parva) . 

19) Pandavas in Kamyaka forest. A number of brahmins 
also accompanied the Pandavas to the forest. The noble 
brahmin, Saunaka consoled the aggrieved Dharma- 
putra in the Dvaitavana. Dharmaputra felt worried 
that he could not feed the brahmins who accompanied 
him into the forest. Pancall prayed to the Sun-God, 
and he gave the Aksayapatra to her. (See Aksyapatra) . 
And, after this the Pandavas, along with the brahmins, 
entered the Kamyaka forest. (M.B., Aranya Parva, 
Chapter 36) . 

20) Arjuna secured divine arrows. Dharmaputra asked 
Arjuna to do tapas in the Himalayas and thus secure 
divine arrows. Accordingly Arjuna went south and saw 
Indra in the Indraklla mountain. Indra gave him 
boons. There Arjuna killed Mukasura. And, then 
Arjuna went to Mount Kailasa and prayerfully concen- 
trated his mind on Siva. Siva appeared in the guise of 
a forest dweller. (See Fa.supata.stra). Afte* that he got 
the Dandastra from Yama, Pasastra from Varuna and 
Antardhanastra from Kubera. (M.B., Vana Parva, 
Chapters 37-41). 

21) Arjuna in Indraloka. Indra, who was so very pleas- 
ed that Arjuna got so many divine arrows deputed his 
charioteer, Matali, to bring Arjuna to Devaloka, and 
at Devaloka he learned more about archery and music. 
The Apsara women forgot themselves when they saw 
the exceptionally handsome Arjuna. Urvasi, mad with 




love, sent her messenger Citrasena to Indra. Being told 
about Urvaii's love Arjuna closed both his ears with 
hands, and reminded the messenger of UrvasTs mater- 
nal position with reference to him. UrvasI cursed and 
turned Arjuna into an eunuch. Indra consoled Arjuna 
by assuring him that Urvasi's curse will turn out to be 
of great benefit to him. Afterwards Arjuna stayed in 
Devaloka for a few days with Citrasena, and during 
the period he killed Nivatakavaca and Kalakeya. 
Arjuna became a friend of Maharsi Lomasa, who had 
gone to Devaloka to see Indra. Promising Arjuna that 
he would protect Dharmaputra Lomasa returned to the 
earth. Arjuna left the Kiimyaka forest and returned to 
his brothers after an absence for five years. He met the 
brothers at Mount Gandhamadana. (M.B., Vana Parva, 
Chapters 42-47) . 

22) Procession. At last a witty and humorous brahmin 
went to Dhrtarastra and dilated upon the hardships 
being suffered by the Pandavas, and Duryodhana and 
others were extremely pleased and happy to hear it. 
Yet, they shed crocodile tears. But, Duryodhana was 
in a mighty hurry to see with his own eyes the pitiable 
plight of the Pandavas. On the pretext of going out for 
hunting Duryodhana and others with the permission of 
Dhrtarastra, started for the forest with a number of 
attendants. 8,000 chariots, 30,000 elephants, thousands 
of infantry soldiers, 9,000 horses, merchants, ornaments, 
courtesans and thousands of hunters formed this pro- 
cession into the forest. Just like roaring winds during 
the rainy season the procession caused thunderous noise. 
Duryodhana approached the pool in the Dvaita forest 
and waited at a distance. (M.B., Aranya Parva, Chap- 
ter 239, Verses 25-29). 

Duryodhana and attendants put up tents in the forest. 
The Gandharvas obstructed Duryodhana, and he and 
the Gandharva called Citrasena clashed with each 
other. Duryodhana was made a prisoner. Arjuna came 
on the scene and released him. And, thus humiliated 
Duryodhana returned to Hastinapura with the atten- 
dants. (M.B., Aranya Parva, Chapters 239-253). 
23) Arjuna lost consciousness. While once Pancall was 
alone King Jayadratha forcibly took her away. Within 
seconds the Pandavas confronted Jayadratha and regain- 
ed Pancall. Jayadratha and his men were killed. The 
Pandavas, who were very weary and tired walking in 
the forest felt extremely thirsty. Nakula, at the instance 
of Dharmaputra climbed a tree and looked around and 
sighted a pool of clear water. When Nakula went to the 
pool and began to draw water a voice from above was 
heard saying as follows : "Do not be so very daring. 
This is my ancestral wealth. If you answer my ques- 
tions you may not only drink the water but also take 
some with you". Without paying any heed to this warn- 
ing Nakula drank water from the pool, and lo ! he fell 
down unconscious immediately. Sahadeva who went to 
the pool in search of Nakula and drank water from the 
pool also met with the same fate as Nakula. Arjuna 
and Bhima also had the same fate at the pool. Lastly 
Dharmaputra went to the pool and understanding what 
happened to his brothers requested permission to drink 
water. At once a Yaksa appeared and brought the bro- 
thers of Dharmaputra back to consciousness. In fact, 
the Yaksa was none other than Yamadharmadeva. (For 
questions and answers of the Yaksa see Dharmaputra.) 
(M.B., Aranya Parva, Chapters 312-315). 

24) Life incognito. Now the twelve years of forest life 
being over the Pandavas decided to spend the one year 
of life incognito in the Virata palace. Arjuna disguised 
himself and deposited his clothes and weapons in the 
hollow of a Sami tree in the forest. And the Pandavas 
in various disguises reached the Virata palace. They 
assumed false names : Dharmaputra as Karika, Bhima 
as Valala, Arjuna as Brhannala, Nakula as Granthika 
and Sahadeva as Aristanemi and Draupadi as Malinl. 
When the life incognito of the Pandavas for one year 
was about to expire a rumour reached the Kauravas 
that the Pandavas were at the Virata capital, and the 
Kauravas thought that the Pandavas will appear on the 
scene if a war was fought against King Virata. The 
Kauravas, with this object in view, lifted the cows of 
Virata and that led to war. Uttara, the prince of Viraja 
boasted that he would fight provided he had a good 
charioteer. Brhannala (Arjuna) agreed to act as such 
and they started for the warfield. At the sight of the 
massive army of the Kauravas Uttara got frightened 
and tried to run away from the field. But Brhannala 
tightly bound Uttara to the chariot, drove it very fast 
to the forest, took back from the hollow of the Sami 
tree his weapons and returned to the battle-field. The 
Kauravas were absolutely defeated in the war and they 
took to their heels. They understood that the very clever 
and terrible warrior in disguise was Arjuna himself. But, 
by the time the period of the Pandavas life incognito 
was over. The king of Virata, greatly pleased over this 
victory in war gave his daughter, Uttara in marriage to 
Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna. (M.B., Virata Parva). 

25) Preparations for war. After the forest life and life 
incognito the Pandavas returned. The Kauravas refus- 
ed to give them half the Kingdom. Sri Krsna, on behalf 
of the Pandavas, implored that half the kingdom or five 
districts or five nouses or at least one house be given to 
them. But. the Kauravas took the stand that not even 
an iota of land would be given to the Pandavas. And, 
war was perforce decided upon. Duryodhana went to 
Krsna at Dvaraka to request for support in war. Krsna, 
who favoured the Pandavas lay in false sleep as he did 
not want to fight against them. Duryodhana sat at the 
head of Krsna. Arjuna, who came after some tune sat 
at the feet of Krsna and remained there standing. 
Awakening from sleep, it was Arjuna whom Kysna saw 
first. After the greetings were over with Arjuna, Krsna 
saw Duryodhana also. Between Krsna without any arms 
and the armed forces of Krsna, Arjuna chose Ki'sna 
and Duryodhana his armed forces to help each side in 
the impending war. ( Udyoga Parva) . 

26) War. Both the Parties were encamped in Kuruk- 
setra ready for war. Sri Krsna acted as Charioteer to 
Arjuna. He stopped the chariot in between the opposing 
armies. Arjuna felt deep anguish to find his own people 
arrayed on the opposite side for war. Reluctant to kill 
relations, elders, friends and preceptors Arjuna laid 
down his arms in the chariot. Then did Ki'siia instruct 
him in Karmayoga (the philosophy of action). That 
instruction and advice of Kfsna is the world-famous 
Bhagavad Glta. The Glta cleared off Arjuna's illusions 
and he praised the Lord, Sri Krsna, who revealed his 
all comprehensive form (Visvarupa) to Arjuna. 
On the first day of the war Arjuna fought a duel with 
Blrisma, and the second day he fought the Kaurava 
forces with exceptional prowess. And then Arjuna pre- 




vented Krsna from killing Bhisma. But, the Kaurava 
army faced defeat that day. On the third day Arjuna 
defeated Bhisma, Asvatthama, Trigartta, Bhagadatta 
and others. Thereupon a really fierce fight began. The 
war lasted for 18 days. The important incidents during 
the 18 days can be summarised as follows : 

( 1 ) Fierce fight between Arjuna and Bhisma. 

(2) Fight between Arjuna and Asvatthama. 

(3) Arjuna destroyed the Kaurava army. 

(4) Iravan, son of Arjuna, was killed. 

(5) Arjuna fought against Drona and SuSarma. 

(6) Took the vow to kill Bhisma. 

(7) Sikhandi prompted to kill Bhisma. 

(8 ) On the appearance of Sikharidi the Kaurava army, 
took fright and fled in great disarray. 

(9) Arjuna fought a duel with Dussasana. 

(10) Duel with Bhagadatta. 

(11) Duel again with Bhisma. 

(12) Bhisma fainted and fell on the ground. 

(13) Duel again with Dussasana. 

(14) With Sikhandi in the front made an attack on 

(15) Arjuna discharged three arrows to serve as pillow 
to Bhisma who, dislodged from the chariot, was 
lying on a bed of arrows. 

(16) Cool water sprinkled on the face of Bhisma with 
the aid of divine arrows. 

(17) Fought against Drona and defeated his forces. 

(18) Satyajit deputed to remain with Dharmaputra to 
help him. 

(19) Sudhanva killed. 

(20) Again fought with Bhagadatta. 

(21) Supratlka, the elephant of Bhagadatta killed. 

(22) And after that, Bhagadatta also killed. 

(23) Vrsaka and Acala killed by Arjuna. 
(24; Sakuni defeated. 

(25) Arjuna killed the three brothers of Karna and con- 
fronted Kama. 

(26) Abhimanyu, son of Arjuna, killed. 

(27) Hearing about the death of Abhimanyu, Arjuna fell 
down unconscious. 

(28) Awakened, Arjuna vowed to kill Jayadratha. 

(29) Arjuna performed Siva Piija. 

(30) Arjuna dreamt that night to have paid homage to 
Siva along with Krsna and that Siva gave him 
divine arrows like Pasupata. 

(31) Marched forth routing the elephant regiment of 

(32) Routed Dussasana in fight. 

(33) Again fought Drona, Kytavarml, Srutayudha, 
Sudaksina, King of Kamboja. 

(34) Sudaksina killed in fight. 

(35) Srutayu, Acyutayu, Niyutiyu, Ambastha and the 
Mlecchas' army killed. 

(36) Vinda and Anuvinda killed. 

(37) Warfield converted into a house of arrows, on 
account of the great collection of arrows. 

(38) Arjuna defeated Duryodhana. 

(39) Fought the nine great warriors on the Kaurava 

(40) Arjuna cut off the right hand of Bhurisravas at 
the instance of Krsna. 

(41) Cut off the head of Jayadratha with arrows. The 
head and the arrows were thrown on the lap of 
Jayadratha's father. 

(42) Alambusa, King ofRaksasas killed. 

(43) Dandadhfira killed with his elephant. 

(44) Arjuna killed the six brothers of Susarma, viz., 
Satyasena, Candrasena, Mitrasena, Srutanjaya ; 
Sausruti and Mitradharma 

(45) Difference of opinion arose between Dharmaputra 
and Arjuna about the failure to kill Karna, and 
in the heat of excitement Arjuna called his elder 
brother 'thou'. 

(46) Immediately repenting Arjuna drew sword to kill 
himself. But, regained mental peace by begging 
pardon of the brother. 

(47) Killed Vi'sasena, son of Karna, 

(48) Karna brought down Krsna's crown by his arrow 
resembling the face of the serpent. Enraged at this 
Arjuna killed Karna. 

(49) Killed Satyakarma, Satyestha and others. 

(50) After bowing to Vyasa, Arjuna withdrew arrow. 
(M.B., Bhisma, Drona, Karna, Salya and Sauptika 

27) After the war. In the great war the Kaurava army, 
to the very last man, was annihilated. The Pandavas 
assembled together. Thoughts about the future came up. 
Sri Krsna consoled the sorrowing Dharmaputra. As 
desired by Vyasa, Ki'sna, Dharmaputra and others 
returned to Hastinapura and took up the reins of 
governing the country, and the idea of performing an 
Aivamedha Yaga was seriously mooted. A King named 
Marutta agreed to give money needed for the yajfia. 
Arjuna defeated all enemy kings. (M.B., Santi Parva). 

28) Death and rebirth of Arjuna. On his way back 
after digvijaya Arjuna was killed by the arrows of his 
son, Babhruvahana. Immediately did Ulupl, Arjuna's 
wife bring back to life her husband by Mrtasanjlvanl 
mantra. Then Arjuna questioned Ulupl about the 
reason for his son killing him, and also as to how she 
happened to be present at the time. Ulupl described 
the story of a curse in answer to Arjuna's querry. 
(M.B., Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 79). 

29) The story of the curse. Ulupl said : You shall not 
get angry. Yes, all is for the best. In war you killed 
Bhisma by unrighteous means, viz. with the help of 
Sikhandi. On his death, the Astavasus and Ganga Devi 
cursed you with hell. I told about this curse to my 
father, who begged the Vasus for redemption, and they 
said that you would be redeemed from the curse when 
your son, Babhruvahana, killed you. Accordingly he 
has been brought here to kill you. 

The above story pleased Arjuna. (Asvamedha Parva, 
Chapter 81). 

30) Asvamedham. Arjuna again defeated Meghasandhi, 
the King of Magadha, Sakuniputra and others and 
returned to Hastinapura, where the Asvamedha yajfia 
was performed. The Yadava dynasty was extinguished 
before long. Arjuna did all the rites due to them on 
death. He grieved over the departure of Sri Krsna. 
(Bhagavata, Skandha 11, Chapter 31). And then he 
went to Indraprastha with the consorts of Krsna. On 
the way dacoits overcame Arjuna and snatched away 
some of the females. Arjuna felt very sad. Then Vyasa 
appeared and told him that he would be strong and 
powerful only in the presence of Krsna. (Agni Parana, 
Chapter 15). 

31) Pandavas' journey to the other world- Now, it was 
time for the Pandavas to journey to the other world. 



It was at this juncture that the Yadava dynasty ended 
and Sri Krsna was killed, and some of Krsna's con- 
sorts were abducted. Arjuna could not save them, and 
they jumped into the river and died. Arjuna, who lost 
all his power began the great journey with his brothers. 
On their way Agnideva advised him to deposit reputed 
bow, Gandlva in the sea, and Arjuna did so. (Maha- 
prasthana Parva, Chapter 1, Verses 1-42). The Panda- 
vas continued their journey, Yudhisthira leading them. 
They reached the Himalayas, and there Pane "ill expir- 
ed. To Bhima's querry as to why Pancali expired first, 
Yudhisthira replied that it was due to her having been 
more partial to Arjuna. The others continued their 
journey and then Sahadeva died. Yudhisthira explain- 
ed that Sahadeva died second due to his arrogance 
and conceit. And, the others continued going forward. 
An emaciated dog was already with the Piindavas 
during their journey. Nakula was the third to die, and 
Yudhisthira attributed it to his (Nakula) extreme con- 
ceit about his beauty. And, Arjuna's death next, 
Yudhisthira said, was due to his having not kept his 
vow, once made, to kill the whole lot of enemies in a 
day. After proceeding a short distance further Bhima 
also fell dead, and Yudhisthira thought to himself 
that it was due to Bhima's voracious eating. And, then 
Devendra came in his chariot of gold and welcomed 
Yudhisthira to Svarga. But, he refused the offer saying 
that he would not do go alone, leaving his brothers 
behind. When Indra assured him that his brothers 
were already there, in Svarga, Yudhisthira got into 
the chariot and reached Svarga, and he was elated to 
find his brothers there happy with Pancali. (Maha- 
prasthana Parva and Svargarohana) . 

32) The meanings of the word. Ariuna. 

(1) White. 



Avadatassito gauro 

Valakso dhavalo'rjunah 

Harinah pandurah. (Amarakosa) 

(2) The plant called virataru. 

Nadlsarjo virataru- 

Rindradruh kakubhor'rjunah. (Do) 

(3) Giass. 

Saspam balatmarh ghaso 

yavasam trnarharjunam. (Do) 

(4) Indra. 

(Rgveda, Chapter 1, Anuvaka 7, Sukta 112). 

33) Synonyms used in the Mahabharata of Arjuna. Aindri, 
Bharata, Bhlmanuja, Bhlmasenanuja, Bibhatsu, Brhan- 
nala, Sakharnvgadhvaja, Sakraja, Sakranandana, Sakra- 
sunu, Sakratmaja, S"akrasuta, Svetasva, Svetahaya, 
Svetavaha, Devendratanaya, Dhananjaya, Gandlvabhrt, 
Gandlvadhanva, Gandlvadhari, Gandivi, GudakeSa, 
Indrarupa, Indrasuta, Indratmaja, Indravaraja, Jaya, 
Jisnu, Kapidhvaja, Kapiketana, Kapipravara, Kapi- 
varadhvaja, Kaunteya, Kaurava, Kauravasrestha, 
Kauravya, Kiritamali, Kauraveya, Kirlfabhi't, Kirl- 
tavan, Kiriti, Krsna, KT-snasarathi, Kuntlputra, 
Mahendrasunu, Mahendratmaja, Nara, Pakasasani, 
Pandava, Pandaveya, Pandunandana, Partha, Paurava, 
Phalguna, Prabhanjanasutanuja, Savyasaci, Tapatya, 
Tridasesvaratmaja, Vanaradhvaja, Vanaraketana, Vana- 
raketu, Vanaravaryaketana, Vasavaja, Vasavanandana, 
Vasavatmaja, Vasavi, Vijaya. 

34) Origin of certain words. Towards the close of his 
life incognito, Arjuna went to the Sami tree to take 
out Gandlva kept in its hollow. Uttara also was 
with Arjuna. Then Arjuna revealed himself to Uttara, 
and also elaborated the meaning of his various names 
as follows: 

I shall tell you my ten names. Arjuna, Phalguna, Jisnu, 
Kiriti, Svetavahana, Bhibhatsu, Vijaya, Krsna, Savya- 
saci and Dhananjaya I am called Dhananjaya, 

because even after having conquered all the lands and 
amassed wealth I stand in the centre of righteousness 
... .1 am called Vijaya because in fights with haughty 

opponents I always succeed I am called Svetavahana 

because white horses are harnessed in war to my chariot 
decked with golden ornaments I am called Phal- 
guna because I was born in the month of Phalguna and 
under the star, Phalguna. .. .1 am kinti because during 
my fight with the Daityas I put on my head crown 
glowing as Sun. . . I am called Bibhatsu by men and 
Devas because I never resort to revolting means during 
war.. .Devas and men call me Savyasaci because both 
my hands are adept in using the bow, Gandlva.... I 
am Arjuna because, in the world people are rare who 
possess such fair colour as I do, and moreover I do 
only white (just and ethical) acts. . . .1 am called Jisnu, 
because I am unassailable and unconquerable, and I 
subjugate and conquer, and also because I am the son of 
Indra. . .My father gave me the tenth name of Krsna 
because I was very attractive (Krsna = attractive). 
[Mahabharata (Malayalam) ]. 

35) Wives of Arjuna. 

(1) Pancali (2) Ulupi (3) Citrarigada (4) Subhadra. 

36) Sons of Arjuna. Srtakiiiti, Iravan, Babhruvahana, 

ARJUNA II. A son of Emperor, Nimi. 

One Arjuna, son of emperor Nimi, got philosophical 
advice from a Muni named Asita (Brahmandapurana, 
Chapter 47) . 

ARJUNA III. (See Karttaviryarjuna) . 

ARJUNA IV. A member of Yama's assembly. The 
other members are : Kapotaroma, Trnaka, Sahadeva, 
Visva, SasVa, Krlasva, Sasabindu and MahlsVara. 
(M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 8, Verse 17). 

bharata. (See Mahabharata). 

ARJUNAKA. A hunter. Dharmaputra was called to his 
side by Bhlsma his body torn by arrows in fight and he 
felt very sad and sorry to see Bhisma in that state. To 
console Dharmaputra Bhlsma related a story and this 
hunter was one of the characters in the story. The story 
may be summarised as follows : 

Once, the son of an old Brahmin woman Gautami, 
died on account of snake-bite. A hunter caught and 
brought before Gautami the snake. His object was to 
kill it immediately. But the serpent proved its innocence 
by pleading that it bit the boy impelled and prompted 
by Death. At once death (mrtyu) appeared on the 
scene and explained that it was prompted by the God 
of Death. And, it was the child who was responsible for 
the cause of death, and Gautami was the cause for the 
birth of the child. Ultimately Gautami herself assumed 
responsibility for the sin. Bhlsma consoled Dharma- 
putra by telling that as in the case of Gautami in 
the story, the cause for every effect was the chain 
of Karma. (M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 1). 


ARJUNAVANAVASAPARVA. A sub parva in Maha- 
bharata. (See Mahabharata) . 

ARKKA I. A synonym of the Sun. (See SURYA) . 

ARKKA II. A king of olden days. (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 1, Verse 236). 

ARKKA III. The royal^ sage Rsika was Arkka, the 
Asura, reborn. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verses 
32, 33). 

ARKKAPARNA. Kasyapa's son by his wife Muni. He 
was a De\agandharva. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 65, 
Verse 43) . 

ARTHAM. From the forehead of Mahavisnu a golden 
lotus grew up from which Sri Devi was born- Dharm- 
arthas (Dhai ma = righteousness and artha =wealth) also 
were born from Sri. "From the forehead of Visnu, 
sprung up a golden lotus and His wise spouse Sri arose 
there from and oh, Pandava, righteousness and wealth 
came into being from S"ri". (Bhasabharata, Santi Parva, 
Chapter 59, Stanzas 130 & 131) . 

ARUJAM. A sect among the Raksasas. (M.B., Vana 
Parva, Chapter 285, Verse 2) . 

ARULMOLITHEVAR. The Saiva text of the south is 
called Tirumura, and it contains twelve songs. The 
first seven of those songs were composed by Tirujnana- 
sambandha, TirunavukkarSar and Sundaramurti. The 
twelfth song is called Periyapurana composed by 
Arulmolithevar. He is also called Sekhilar. Tevar was 
prime minister (A.D. 1063-1112) of Cola. (Some great 


1) Birth. Son of KaSyapa by Vinata. KaSyapa, son 
of Brahma, married Vinata and Kadru, and being so 
much pleased by their services he gave them boons. 
Kadru got the boon to have 1000 naga (serpent) sons, 
and Vinata to have two sons more powerful and vital 
than the sons of Kadru. After this KaSyapa went into 
the forest again for Tapas. After a period, Kadru gave 
birth to 1000 eggs and Vinata to two. Both che mothers 
kept their eggs in pots so that they were in the right 
temperature. After 500 years the pot broke up and 
Kadru had her 1000 sons. Vinata felt pained at this 
and opened one of her pots. A child only half-developed 
emerged from the egg and he was Aruna. (M.B., Adi 
Parva, Chapter 16, Verses 5-7). After another 500 
years the other egg of Vinata hatched itself and a glow- 
ing son emerged. He was Garuda. 

2) Genealogy. While Rama and Laksmana wandered 
in the forest searching for Slta they saw the wounded 
and disabled Jatayu. Jatilyu described his genealogy 
as follows : "Kasyapa, son of Brahma, married the 
daughters of Daksa. Of the two wives, Vinata delivered 
two sons, ' Garuda and Aruna. Sampati was Aruna's 
elder son and he (Jatayu) the younger. (Valmiki 
Ramayana, Aranyakanda, Canto 14). Agni Purana, 
Chapter 19 also refers to Garuda and Aruna as the sons 
of Vinata. 

3) Aruna curses his mother. The fact of Vinata forcing 
open one of her eggs prematurely and Aruna emerging 
out of it with only a half-developed body has been 
mentioned above. Aruna got angry at the haste of his 
mother and cursed her to live as slave of Kadru for 
500 years, and then Garuda would redeem her from 
slavery. He also asked her to wait for 500 years so that 
the birth of another physically deficient son like him- 
self might be avoided. After pronouncing this curse Aruna 


rose to the sky. This curse was the reason for Vinata's 
becoming a slave ofKadru. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 
16, Verses 18-23) . 

4) Aruna became charioteer of Sun. The Sun and the 
Moon betrayed to the Devas Rahu, who waited at the 
entrance of Devaloka to snatch off the Nectar (Amrtam) 
got at the churning of the sea of milk (Kslrabdhi) . 
Thenceforth Rahu does often swallow the Sun and the 
Moon. That phenomenon is called the eclipse ( of the Sun 
or Moon. Surya-grahana and Candra-grahana). Enraged 
by these frequent attacks of Rahu, the Sun-God began 
once to burn like anything. Murmuring that everyone 
would cooperate when there was something to be achiev- 
ed, but would go on their own way when the object was 
achieved, the Sun-God began burning so virulently as 
to destroy all living forms, and the Devas were frighten- 
ed by this and took refuge in Brahma. Brahma called 
Aruna and asked him to stand as charioteer in front 
of the Sun-God everyday so that the Sun's intensity 
might be reduced. From that day onwards Aruna has 
been functioning as the charioteer of the Sun. (M B 
Adi Parva, Chapter 24, Verses 15-20). 

5) Birth of sons. S~yenl, wife of Aruna delivered two 
sons, Sampati and Jafayu. (M.B., Adi' Parva, Chapter 
68, Verse 71) . 

6) Aruna assumed female form. Silavati, the chaste 
woman, once did naked Tapas to redeem her husband, 
Ugratapas from the consequences of a curse. The object 
of her tapas was to prevent the next dawn (Sunrise). 
Owing to the intensity of her tapas the Sun ceased to 
rise, and this gave his charioteer Aruna some rest. Then 
it was that Aruna came to know of a programme of 
naked dance by the women in Devaloka. Women alone 
were admitted to the dance hall. Aruna, therefore, assum- 
ed female form and sat among the Deva women, and 
the beautiful 'female' kindled erotic sentiments in Indra 
and he enjoyed a night with 'her'. Also, a son was born 
to them. And, before the day dawned Aruna, at the ins- 
tance of Indra entrusted the child to Ahalyadex I and re- 
turned to join duty as the Sun-God's charioteer. (Aruna, 
while he acted as Indra's wife was called Arumdevi)! 
Aruna was a bit late to report for duty, and when 
questioned by Sun he detailed the happenings during 
the last night. This evoked the desire in the Sun to see 
Aruna in female form. Aruna did so, and the Sun en- 
joyed her. This also resulted in the birth of a son, who 
too was, at the instance of the Sun, entrusted to Ahalya- 
devl. AhalyadevI brought both the children with tender 
love, which Gautama muni, her husband did not like. 
He cursed them and turned them into monkeys. After 
some time Indra went to Ahalya to see his child and he 
was told the story of Gautama's curse. Indra searched 
out both the monkeys. In view of the elder one having a 
long tail he was called Bali (Vali) and the neck of the 
second one being very beautiful, he was named Sugriva. 
At that time, Rksaraja, the monkey King of Kiskindha 
was very unhappy because he had no sons. He came to 
know of Bali and Sugriva, and requested Indra to give 
both the monkeys to him as sons. Indra gladly obliged 
him. Indra blessed Bali to the effect that half the 
strength of anybody who attacked him would be added 
to his own natural power. Indra then sent him and 
Sugriva to Kiskindha. 

7) Synonyms. Surasuta, Anuru, Aruna, Kasyapi, Garu- 


ARUrjJA II. A king of the solar dynasty, and father of 
TriSauku. (Devi Bhagavata, Saptama Skandha) . 

ARU^IA III. A sage in ancient India. A community of 
Rsis was denoted by this name. Those Rsis were called 
Arunas. The Ajas, Prsnis, Sikatas, Ketus and Arunas 
they attained Svarga by self study. (M.B., Siinti Parva, 
Chapter 26, Verse 7) . 

ARU^A IV. A serpent. Karkkotaka, Vasuki, Taksaka, 
Prthus'ravas, Aruna, Kunjara, Mitra, Samkha, Kumuda, 
Pundarlka, and the chief of serpents, Dhi'taras{ra. 
(M.B., Mausala Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 15). 

ARU^JA V. A Rsi. Taittarlya Aranyaka refers to him 
as born from the flesh of Brahma at the time of creation. 

ARUI^A VI. A Danava (Asura) born in the dynasty of 
Vipracitti. He did tapas for long years repeating the 
Gayatri mantra, and got from Brahma the boon not to 
die in war. Becoming very arrogant on account of this 
boon he left Patala (nether region) for the earth and 
deputed a messenger to challenge Indra for war. At that 
time a heavenly voice called out that as long as Aruna 
did not give up the Gayatri he could not be worsted in 
war. Then the Devas sent Brhaspati to Aruna to make 
him give up Gayatri. Aruna questioned B/haspati as to 
%vhy he of the enemy camp had come to him (Aruna) . 
B/haspati replied : "You and I are not different; both 
of us are worshippers of Gayatri Devi. Being told so 
Aruna gave up worship of Gayatri Devi, and she felt 
offended at this and sent thousands of beetles against 
him. Thus, without fighting Aruna and his army were 
extinguished. (Devi Bhagavata). 

ARUIifA VII. A son of Narakasura. When Narakasura 
was killed Aruna along with his six brothers fought 
again_st Sri Krsna and was killed. 

ARU^JA I. An Apsara woman born of Pradha, wife of 
Kasyapa. Pradha and Kasyapa had the following child- 
ren. Alambusa, MisrakesI, Vidyutparna, Tilottama, 
Raksita, Rambha and Manorama. (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 65, Verses 50,51). 

ARUI^A II. A tributary of the river Sarasvati. (M.B., 
Vana Parva, Chapter 83, Verse 15). 

ARU^ASAMGAMAM. The place where Aruna falls 
into Sarasvati. (M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 43, Verses 
ARUNDHATI I. Wife of Sage Vasistfia. 

(1) Birth. She was born as the daughter of Karddama 
Prajapati and Devahuti. (See Vasistha). 

(2) Other information. ( 1 ) Once ArundhatI got suspi- 
cious about the character of Vasistha and as a result 
of misunderstanding her chaste husband her beauty 
suffered a set-back. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 232, 
Verses 27-29). 

(2) ArundhatI shone forth in Brahma's assembly with 
other Devls like, Prthvi, Hrl, Svahaklrti, Sura and Sad. 
(M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 11, Verse 41). 

(3) She outshone all other chaste women in devotion to 
her husband. She owed her great power to her chastity 
and service of her husband. (M.B., Aranya Parva, 
Chapter 225, Verse 15). 

(4) The seven great Rsis once offered her an honourable 
seat. (M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 226, Verse 8) . 

(5) There is a story in the Mahabharata of how Siva 
once blessed ArundhatI. While the seven great Rsis 
were staying at the Himalayas it did not rain consecu- 
tively for twelve years, and the Munis suffered much 
without either roots or fruits to eat. Then ArundhatI 


began a rigorous tapas, and Siva appeared before her 
disguised as a brahmin. Since, due to the failure of 
rains, ArundhatI had no food with her. She cooked food 
with some cheap roots and served the guest with it. 
and with that it rained profusely all over the land. Siva 
then assumed his own form and blessed Arundhati, 
and from that day onwards it became a sacred spot. 
(M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 48, Verses 38-54). 

(6) ArundhatI once pointed out to Vi'sdarbhi the evils 
of receiving remuneration (fee). (M.B., AnuSasana 
Parva, Chapter 10, Verse 45). 

(7) On another occasion she spoke about the secret 
principles of ethics among others. (M.B., Anusasana 
Parva, Chapter 130, Verses 3-11). 

(8) Once all the Devas eulogized ArundhatI and Brahma 
blessed her. (M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 130, 
Verses 12 and 13). 

(9) ArundhatI and Vasistha did tapas at the sacred 
Sarasvati tirtha and entered into Samadhi. (M.B., 
Vana Parva, Chapter 130, Verse 17). 

ARUNDHATI II. A wife of Kala (God of death) . 
ArundhatI, Vasu, YamI, Lamba, Bhanu, Marutvati, 
Samkalpa, Muhurta, Sadhya and VisVa are the ten 
wives of'Kala. (Visnu Purana, Part 1, Chapter 15). 

ARUNDHATIVATAM. A holy place. If one takes one's 
bath during three days in the Samudraka tirtha nearby 
and also starves one will get the results of AsVamedha 
yaga. (M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Verse 41). 

ARUNl. Name given to Aruna when he attended 
Indra's assembly disguised as female. (See Aruna). 

ARUI^ODA. A river flowing through the island of 
Plaksa, one of the seven islands of ancient times. The 
wind around ten yojanas of Plaksa is very fragrant 
because it carries the divine fragrance being emitted 
always from the bodies of Parvatl and her attendants, 
who drink water from river Arunoda. (Devi Bhaga- 
vata, Asjama Skandha). 

AROPA. ' One of Daksa's daughters. (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 65, Verse 46) . 

ARUPATTIMDVAR. (The sixty-three's). In ancient 
times there were sixty- three devotees of Siva in the south. 
They were called Nayanaras and they have composed 
many famous sacred songs. Prominent among them were 
Tirujnanasambandha, Tirunavukkarasa and Sundara- 

ARVA. The son of Ripuriijaya. (Visnu Purana). 

ARVAVASU. An ancient Ascetic who had been a lumi- 
nary in the Durbar hall of King Yudhisjhira. There 
is a story in the Mahabharata showing the merits of 
penance of Arvavasu. This story was told by the her- 
mit Lomasa to the Pandavas, when they arrived at the 
holy bath Madhugilasamanga, during their exile in 
the forest. "Long ago two ascetics Raibhya and Bhara- 
dvaja had built their hermitages and lived here. A son 
named Yavakrlta was born to Bharadvaja. To Raibh- 
ya, two sons called Arvavasu and Paravasu were born. 
Raibhya and his sons were learned men. Bharadvaja and 
Yavakrlta became ascetics. Yavakrlta started doing 
penance with a view to get the boon of learning com- 
ing to him automatically without getting it directly 
from Brahmins. When his penance became severe Indra 
appeared and told him that the boon he asked for was 
an impossibility and tried to dissuade him from his 
attempt. Yavakrlta was not willing to give up penance. 
Later Indra came in the guise of a Brahmin to the 




Banks of the Ganges and began to build a dam with 
sand particles. Yavakrita said that it was an impossible 
task. Indra said that the desire of Yavakrita also was 
as impossible as that. Still Yavakrita did not show any 
intention of drawing back. Finally Indra granted him 
the boon. 

Yavakrita returned to the hermitage. Full of arrogance 
he hankered after the daughter-in-law of Raibhya. 
Raibhya plucked a tuft of hair from his head and put 
it as oblation in fire and created a giant who killed 
Yavakrita. Bharadvaja felt sad and cursed Raibhya 
that he would be killed by his son. Then with Yava- 
krita hejumped into the fire and died. 
At that time Bi'haddyumna, a Brahmin performed a 
sacrifice. He invited Arvivasu and Paravasu as helpers. 
As Paravasu was going along the forest he saw his father 
covered with the hide of a deer and shot at him think- 
ing him to be a deer. He stealthily informed the matter 
to Arvavasu. Arvavasu went to the forest completed the 
funeral rites of his father and returned. Paravasu spread 
the rumour everywhere that Arvavasu had murdered 
his father. In the innocence of Arvavasu, nobody 
believed. Everyone avoided him. He became sad and 
forlorn and went to the forest arid did penance to the 
Sun. The Sun appeared before him and blessed him. 
He returned and brought Yavakrita, Bharadvaja and 
Raibhya to life again. 

All these occurrences happened in this bath called 
Madhubilasarhgama. (Mahabharata, Aranya Parva, 
Chapters 135, 136, 137, 138). 

The report of a conversation between this hermit, and 
Sri Krsna who had been on his way to Hastinapura, 
is given in the Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 336, 
Stanza 7. Arvavasu also is counted among the hermits 
who possessed the Brightness of Brahma like Rudra. 
"Hermit Vasistha ! Now I shall give their names in 
order. Yavakrita, Raibhya, Arvavasu, Paravasu, Kak- 
slvan, Aursija, Bala, Aiigiras, Rsimedha, Tithisuta, 
Kanva, these are the Bright hermits, having the bright- 
ness of Brahma, lauded by the world and as bright as 
Rudra, Fire and Vasu". (M.B., Anusasana Parva, 
Chapter 150, Stanzas 30, 31 & 32) . 
Arvavasu did penance to the Sun for getting children. 
The Sun-God came down from his way in the sky and 
gave him through Aruna directions mentioned in the 
Kalpa (one of the six Sastras or Sciences) regarding 
Saptami rituals. Arvavasu observed them strictly and 
as a result he got children and wealth. This story is 
given in Bhavisya Purana, Brahma Parva) . 

ARYAMA. One _of the twelve Adityas born to Kasyapa 
and Aditi. (Adityas = sons of Aditi) . The twelve 
Adityas are, Dh r ita, Aryama, Mitra, Sakra, Varuna, 
Arhs'a, Bhaga Vivasvan, Pusl, Savita, Tvasta and 
Visnu. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Stanza 15). 
Arhsa is sometimes called AMSU. 

ARYASVA. A King of the Surya varhsa (Solar 
dynasty). See the word VAMSAVALl (Genealogy). 

ASAMANJASA (ASAMANJA). A King of the Solar 
dynasty born to Sagara. For genealogy see under 

1 ) Birth. There is a story about his birth in the Rama- 
yana. Once there was a king called Sagara in Ayodhya. 
He married two women named KesinI and Sumati. For 

a long time they had no sons and so they went to the 
Himalayas and started penance there in the mount of 
Bhrguprasravana. After a hundred years Bhrgumaha- 
rsi appeared before them and pleased them thus : "Your 
elder wife KesinI will give birth to a son who will 
continue your dynasty and your second wife will give 
birth to sixty thousand children". After a few years 
KesinI gave birth to Asamanjas and Sumati to a big 
ball of flesh. That ball broke and sixty thousand babes 
came out from it. (Valmlki Ramayana, Balakanda, 
Sarga 83 ) . 

2) Character of Asamanjas. He was a very cruel man 
always tormenting people. He used to throw little child- 
ren into the Sarayu river and stand on the banks of the 
river enjoying the sight of the children dying drowning. 
People hated him. His father, therefore, drove him out 
of his palace. To this bad man was born Arhsuman, a 
King who became the favourite of the people. (V5.1- 
mlki Ramayana, Balakanda, Sarga 38). 


ASANI. A holy hermit. While Sri Krsna was going to 
Hastinapura this hermit met him on the way. (M.B., 
Udyoga Parva, Chapter 83) . 

ASIDDHARTHA. A minister of Dasaratha. (Valmlki 
Ramayana, Sloka 3, Sarga 7, Balakanda). 

ASIKNI I. A river flowing through the Punjab in India. 
This is called Candrabhaga and also Cinab (Clna) . 
The Rgveda also mentions about this. (M.B.. Bhisma 

ASIKNI II. A wife of Daksa. DaksaprajSpati, son of 
Brahma, commenced creation with his own mind. When 
he found (hat it was not conducive to the propagation 
of the species he pondered over the subject once more 
and decided to effect it by the sexual union of the male 
and the female. He, therefore, married Asikni daughter 
of Viranaprajapati. There is a version in the seventh 
Skandha of Devi Bhagavata that Viranl was born of 
the left thumb of Brahma.* Then the virile Daksa- 
prajapati begot by Asikni five thousand Haryasvas with 
a view to propagating his species and the Haryaivas 
also evinced great desire to increase their number. 
Knowing this devarsi Narada of enchanting words 
approached them and said "Oh, HaryasVas, I under- 
stand you, energetic young men, are going to continue 
creation. Phew ! You are children who have not cared 
to understand the ins and outs or ups and downs of this 
earth and then how do you think you can create 
people ? You are all endowed with the power to move 
about on all sides without any obstruction and you are 
only fools if you do not attempt so find out the limits 
of this earth". Hearing this they started on a tour to 
different sides of the earth to find out its boundaries. 
Just like worms fallen into the ocean the HaryaS vas have 
never returned so far. 

When he found that the Haryasvas were lost the mighty 
Daksa begot in the daughter of Viranl a thousand sons 
called Sabalasvas. They were also desirous of propaga- 
tion but were also persuaded by the words of Narada to 
follow the footsteps of their elder brothers. They dis- 
cussed it among themselves and said "The words of the 
Maharsi are right. We must also follow the course taken 
by our brothers. It is wise to commence creation after 

*It was Mahavisnu who gave Daksa his wife, Asikni, when Daksa was doing penance in Vindhya. (as{a Skandha, Bhagavata). 




knowing the size of the earth." They also went to 
different sides and never returned just like rivers falling 
into the ocean. The loss of the Sabalasvas infuriated 
Daksa and he cursed Narada. 

Again to commence creation Daksa got of Asikni sixty 
girls. Of these ten he gave to Dharmadeva, thirteen 
to Kasyapa, twentyseven to Soma and four to Aris^a- 
nemi. Two were given to Bahuputra, two to Angiras 
and two to the scholar Krsasva. Dharmadeva's wives 
were Arundhati, Vasu, YamI, Lamba, Bhanu, Marut- 
vati, Sankalpa, Muhurta, Sadhya and VisVa. Of Visva 
were born Visvedevas. Sadhya delivered the Sadhyas, 
Marutva, the Marutvans and Vasu, Vasus. Bhanus were 
born of Bhanu. From Muhurta came Muhurtabhimanis 
and from Lamba, Ghosa and from Yarnl, Nagavithi. 
(Chapter 15, AnuSasana Parva, 1; Visnu Purana and 
Skandha 6, Bhagavata) . 

ASIKRSNA. Son of AsVamedhas, a King of the Lunar 
dynasty. (Bhagavata, 9th Skandha). 

ASILOMA. Prime Minister of Mahisagva. (Devi Bhaga- 
vata. 5th Skandha). 

ASIPATRAVANA. One of the notorious twentyeight 
hells. If you destroy forests without purpose you will go 
to this hell. (Chapter 6, Anusasana Parva 2, Visnu 
Purana). The Devi Bhagavata describes Asipatravana 
like this : "Those who forsake their own natural duty 
and go in for that of others are thrown into this hell; 
they die by the orderlies of Yama, the King of Death. 
There they will be whipped by a whip made of thorny 
herbs and as they run about with pain they will be 
followed and whipped. Crashing against the big stones 
there they will fall fainting and the moment they wake 
up from the faint they will be stabbed again. This 
will be repeated. (As^ama Skandha, Devi Bhagavata) . 

ASITA. A celestial maiden. She had taken part in the 
birthday celebrations of Arjuna. (Sloka 63, Chapter 
122, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

ASITA I. One of the R^viksofthe Sarpasatra of Jana- 

Some details. (1) The prominent Rtviks were Bhargava, 
Kautsa, Jaimini, Sarhgarava, Pihgala, Vyasa, Uddalaka 
Pramattaka, Svetaketu, Asita, Devala, Narada, Parvata, 
Atreya, Kundajara, Kalaghajs, Vatsya, Kohala, Deva- 
s"arma, Maudgalya, Samasaurabha. (Chapter 53, Adi 
Parva, M.B.) 

(2) Asita, Devala, VaiSampayana, Sumantu and Jaimini 
were disciples of Vyasa. (Prathama Skandha, Devi 
Bhagavata) . 

(3) Asita, the sage, got by the blessing of Siva a son 
named Devala. (Brahmavaivarta Purana). 

(4) Once Asita muni explained to King Janaka the 
philosophy of rebirth. (Brahmanda Purana, Chapter 47). 


Main details. (1) He is one of those who spread the story 
of Mahabharata to the public. Vyasa wrote the Maha- 
bharata into a lakh of books and first taught the great 
epic to his son, the sage Suka. He later expounded it 
to many other disciples. Narada spread the story among 
the devas, Devala among the Piti's, Suka among 
Gandharvas and Yaksas and VaiSampayana among men. 
(Slokas 107 & 108, Chapter 1, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 
(2) He was present at the Sarpasatra of Janamejaya. 
(Sloka 8, Chapter 53, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

(3) He attended the coronation of Yudhisthira along 
with Narada and Vyasa. (Sloka 10, Chapter 53, Sabha 
Parva, M.B.). See under Devala for more information. 
ASITADHANVA. A king of Vedic times. Sarhkhyayana 
Sutra states that the Veda of Asuravidya was written by 
this King. 

ASITADHVAJA. Son of Kasyapa and Vina ta. He was 
present at a birthday celebration of Arjuna. (Sloka 72, 
Chapter 122, Adi Pan a, M.B.). 
ASITAKASYAPA (DEVALA). For details see under 

JAIGlSAVYA and Devala.. 

ASITAPARVATA. A mountain situated on the banks of 
the river, Narmada, in the country of Anarta. (Sloka 11, 
Chapter 89, Vana Parva, M.B.) . 

ASMAKA 1. Son born to Vasistha by the wife of Kalma- 
sapada the King of Ayodhya. (See Iksvaku vamSa) while 
the King Kalmasapada was walking through the forest 
hunting he saw Sakti the son of Vasistha. As Sakti did not 
care to give room for the King, Kalmasapada wounded 
Sakti, who cursed the King and changed him to a Raksasa 
(giant) . The giant immediately killed Sakti. After many 
years Vasistha blessed the King and changed the form of 
the giant and gave him back his former shape. The King 
was delighted at having recovered his former shape. He 
took Vasistha to his palace. Madayanti the wife of the King 
with his permission went to Vasistha and got with child. 
Vasistha returned to the forest. Even after the lapse of a 
long period she did not give birth to the child. Madayanti 
who was miserable at this, took an 'asman' (a small 
cylindrical piece of the granite used to crush things placed 
on a flat square piece of granite) and crushed her stomach 
with it and she delivered a son. As he was born by using 
'Asma' he was named Asmaka. This King had built a 
city called Paudhanya. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 176). 
ASMAKA II. ASmaka (m) is a place between the rivers 
Godavari and Mahismatl. ASmaka was a king of this 
land. He fought against the Kauravas on the Pandava 
side. (Karna Parva). 
ASMAKA III. A sage. (M.B., Sand Parva, Chapter 47, 

Sloka 5). 

ASMAKADAYADA. Son of the King Asmaka. He was a 
soldier of the Kaurava army. He was killed in the 
battle by Abhimanyu. (Slokas 22 and 23, Chapter 37, 
Drona Parva, M.B.). 

ASMAKl. Wife of Pracinva. KaSyapa was born to 
Marlci, son of Brahma. To Kasyapa was born of his 
wife Aditi, daughter of Daksa, Vivasvan. Descending in 
order from Vivasvan were born Manu, Ila, Puriiravas, 
Ayus, Nahusa, Yayati. Yayati had two wives, Deva- 
yani and Sarmistha. The first was the daughter of 
Sukra and the second the daughter of Vrsaparva. To were born two sons, Yadu and Turvasu 
and to Sarmistha were born three sons, Druhyu, Anu- 
druhyu and Puru. From Yadu came the dynasty of 
Yadavas and from Puru came the dynasty of Pauravas. 
Kausalya was the wife of Puru and her son was Jana- 
mejaya. Puru conducted three AsVamedhas and secured 
the title of Visvajita (conqueror of the world) and then 
accepted the ascetic life and went to the forests. Jana- 
mejaya married Ananta alias Madhavi and got a son 
named Pracinva. Because he conquered all the land 
extending to the eastern horizon he got the name 
Pracinva. Pracinva married a yadava girl of name 
Aarnakl and got a son named Sariiyati. (Slokas 6 to 13, 
Chapter 95, Adi Parva, M.B.). 


ASMANAGARA. A city of the nether world. The Uttara 
Ramayana states that Ravana entered this city when he 
was going home in the Puspaka Vimana (the aero- 
plane of ancient times) stolen from Kubera. 
ASMAPRSTA(M). The sacred pond near Gaya known 
as Pretasila. It is believed that if you perform obsequies 
here even the sin of killing a brahmin would fade away. 
ASMA. An ancient sage. 

ASMOPAKHYANAM. This is called Asmaglta also. 
After the great Kuruksetra battle Vyasa spoke to 
Dharmaputra to console him and the philosophy he 
then expounded is called Asmopakhyanam. Once King 
Janaka asked the great scholar Asman on the changes 
that occur in Man as wealth comes and goes. Asman 
then gave the King the same philosophy which Vyasa 
gave to Dharmaputra and Asman's oration to King 
Janaka came to be known as Asmaglta. (Chapter 28 
Sand Parva, M.B.). 

ASOKA I. The charioteer of Bhimasena. When Bhlma- 
sena was fighting a battle with Srutayu the King of 
Kaliriga, this charioteer brought the chariot to him. 
(M.B., Bhisma Parva, Chapter 54, Stanzas 70 and 71). 
ASOKA II. A minister of King Dasaratha. Dasaratha 
had eight ministers. They were Jayanta, Dhrsti, Vijaya, 
Asiddhartha, Arthasadhaka, Asoka, Mantrapala and 
Sumantra. (Valmlki Ramayana, Balakanda, Sarga 7). 
ASOKA III. A King of the family of the famous Asura 
Asva. This king had been ruling over Kalinga. (Adi 
Parva, Chapter 67, Stanza 14). 

ASOKADATTA. Once the Vidyadhara (a class of 
semi gods) named Asokavega was going through the sky, 
when the hermit maids of Galavasrama ( the hermitage 
ofGalava) were bathing in the Ganges. He hankered 
after them. So the hermits cursed him and changed 
him to a man. The name of Asokavega in his human 
birth was Asokadatta. The story of Asokadatta in 
the "Kathasaritsagara" is as follows : 
Long ago there lived a Brahmin named Govindasvami, 
near the river Kalindi. He had two sons, Asokadatta 
and Vijayadatta. They were good men like their father. 
Once there occurred a great famine in the country. 
Scarcity prevailed everywhere. Govindasvami told his 
wife, "I cannot bear to see the difficulties of our peo- 
ple. So let us give everything we have for famine relief 
and then go to Kasi and live there." His good-natured 
wife agreed to it and giving everything for the relief 
work, Govindasvami with his wife and children started 
for Kasi. On the way he met a hermit sage who had 
renounced the world. He had his whole body besmear- 
ed with ashes. With his tuft of hair and garment made 
of the barks of trees, he seemed to be Siva. Govinda- 
svami bowed before him, and asked about the future 
of his children. The Yogi (hermit) said, "the future of 
your two sons is good. But this Vijayadatta will go away 
from you. Reunion will become possible by the good- 
ness of Asokadatta." Govindasvami felt glad and sad at 
the same time. Leaving the hermit they proceeded to 
Kasi. They neared Kasi. There was a temple on the 
way. They stayed there and conducted worship in the 
temple and took shelter for the night under a tree out- 
side the temple. Other travellers also were there. Being 
tired of walking all went to sleep. Vijayadatta the 
second son of Govindasvami caught cold. So he woke 
up in the night. When he began to shiver, because of 
cold, he called his father and said, "Father, it appears 


that I have caught cold and I am shivering. I would 
grow better if I could get some fire. So please get some 
twigs and make a fire. I don't think, I may complete 
this night otherwise". They saw a fire close by. It was 
in a burial-ground. Govindasvami took Vijayadatta to 
that place where a dead body was burning. 
Vijayadatta sat near the fire and warmed himself. In 
the meanwhile he was talking to his father. He said, 
"Father, what is that round thing seen in the middle 
of ^the fire ?" "That is the head of a dead body burn- 
ing" said his father who was standing close by. He took 
a burning faggot and hit at the head. The head broke 
into pieces and some viscous stuff from the head fell 
into his mouth. There occurred a sudden change in 
Vijayadatta. He became a fearful giant with huge 
tusks and hair standing erect on the head. Somehow 
or other he got a sword also. That giant took the burn- 
ing head from fire and drank up all the viscous liquid 
in it. With his tongue which looked like blazing fire he 
licked the bones. Then he threw away the skull. Then 
he approached his father with open mouth to swallow 
him. "You ! giant, Don't kill your father, come here !" 
a voice shouted to him from the burial-ground. Thus 
Vijaya became a giant and disappeared. "Oh dear ! 
my child ! my son ! Vijayadatta!", cried his father 
and came away from the burial-place, and went to the 
shelter of the tree and told his wife, son and others 
everything that had happened. Stricken with grief 
they all fell on the ground. All those who came to 
worship in the temple gathered round them and tried 
to console them. Among them was a merchant named 
Samudradatta, a native of Kasi. He consoled Govinda- 
svami and his family and took them to his house in 
Kas"I. He showed hospitality and gave them a separate 
place to live in. Noble men are kind to those who are 
in distress. The great hermit had said that their son 
would come back in due course. Hoping that such a 
time would come soon Govindasvami and his family 
dragged on their time. At the request of that wealthy 
merchant they stayed there on. Asokadatta got his 
education there. When he grew up to a youth, he got 
physical training. He became such an expert in wrestl- 
ing and other modes of fighting that nobody on earth 
could overcome him. During a festival there was a 
contest in wrestling. A renowned wrestler had come 
from the south to take part in the contest. In the con- 
test which took place in the presence of Pratapamukuta, 
the King of Kas"i, the wrestler challenged every wrest- 
ler in the country and had overthrown each one of 
them. Having heard from the merchant Samudradatta, 
the King sent for Asokadatta and put him against the 
wrestler from the south. A very serious fight began 
between the two. They grappled each other with firm 
and resolute grips. The audience was struck with won- 
der at the variety of the modes of grappling and twist- 
ing and turning they exhibited. Applause came from 
everywhere. The fight lasted for a very long time. 
Finally Asokadatta threw the other to the ground, 
and got much presents from the King. Gradually he 
became a favourite of the King, and consequently 
became wealthy. One day the King went to a temple 
of Siva, a little away from the capital to observe fast 
on the fourteenth night of the Moon and while return- 
ing he passed by a burial-ground and heard a voice 
saying, "Oh Lord ! The judge had ordered me to be 




hanged, for a charge of murder, merely out of personal 
grudge and without any proof, and this is the third day 
since I was put on this scaffold. My life has not yet 
departed from the body. My tongue is dried of thirst. 
Have the kindness to give me a little water." 

"Punished without proof ! It will appear only so to him 
who is punished". Thinking thus the King asked 
Asokadatta to give the man some water. "Who will go 
to a burial-ground in the night ? I myself shall take 
water to him". Saying so Asokadatta took water and 
went to the burial-ground and the King went to the 
palace. The world was in darkness. With here and 
there a spark of fire and light of fire-flies and lightning 
mingled with the shouting of ghosts and the roaring of 
the demons and occasional cries of birds and animals 
the burial-ground was a dreadful place, where Asoka- 
datta came and asked, "Who asked the King for 
water ?" He heard a voice saying "Myself" and he 
went to the place of the voice and saw a man lying on 
a scaffold. An extremely beautiful woman also was lying 
under the scaffold crying, and getting ready to jump 
into the burning fire since she could not bear the 
separation of her husband on the new moon day. She 
had plenty of golden ornaments on her body. Asoka- 
datta asked her, "Madam ! who are you, why are you 
crying here ?" She replied, "I, an unfortunate woman, 
am the wife of the man on the scaffold. My intention 
is to burn myself along with his body. I am waiting for 
his life to depart. Because of my sin he is not dying. 
This is the third day since he is lying like this. He will 
be asking for water now and then. So I have brought 
some water. But his face being high I cannot reach it 
and I am seeing him burning with thirst, and am 
swallowing the grief." Asokadatta said, "See ! The 
King has sent this water for him. Now climb on my 
back and you yourself give him this water." 

The woman instantly took the water and got on the 
back of ASokadatta who had stooped down for her to 
climb on his back. After a while he felt drops of blood 
falling on his back and looking up he saw her cutting 
flesh from the body of the man on the scaffold and eat- 
ing it. He got wild with anger and catching hold of her 
legs he was about to strike her on the ground, when 
she shook her legs free and ran away and disappeared. 
Because she dragged away her legs with force one 
bangle came off from her leg and was left with 
Asokadatta. Her behaviour aroused in him at first com- 
passion, detestation in the middle stage and fear in the 
final stage, and when she had disappeared from his 
sight he looked at the bangle she had left behind with 
astonishment. When he reached home it was dawn. 
After his morning ablution he went to the palace. "Did 
you give him water yesternight?" asked the King and 
he replied "Yes", and placed the bangle before the King. 
"Where did you get this from ?" the King asked and in 
reply he said everything that had happened in the 
night. The King thought that ASokadatta was an extra- 
ordinary man and calling his queen showed her the 
ornament and told her everything. She was filled with 
joy and wonder. She praised ASokadatta a good deal. 
The King said, ''Dear queen ! This Asokadatta is a 
young man of greatness, learning, bravery, truth and of 
good birth. He is handsome too. If he would become 
"the husband of our daughter what a good thing it will 

be ? I have a desire to give him our daughter Madana- 

The queen also said that the thought was pleasing to 
her. "This youth is the most suitable person to be her 
husband. Some days ago Madanalekha had seen him in 
Madhu garden and from that day a change is visible in 
her. All laughing and playing is gone from her, and she 
spends time in loneliness and thinking. I knew this from 
her maids. Because of my thought about her I did not 
sleep last night and only just closed my eyes in the 
dawn. Then it seemed to me that a divine woman 
appeared and said to me, ''My daughter, Don't give 
your daughter Madanalekha to anybody else. She had 
been the wife of ASokadatta in previous birth". I woke 
up immediately. Believing in the dream I consoled our 
daughter. I am glad that now you also think so. Let the 
Jasmine creeper entwine round the Mango tree." 
When the King heard these things from his queen, with- 
out wasting more time he gave his daughter Madana- 
lekha in marriage to Asokadatta. They suited each 
other so much that not only their relatives, but the 
others also were delighted. Brahma is well experienced 
in joining suitable things together. As they were all 
getting on well one day the queen said to the King, 
"My lord ! this Bangle being single doesn't shine well. 
We must have another bangle made in the same shape 
and design." 

The King immediately had some goldsmiths brought be- 
fore him. He showed them the bangle and asked them 
to make one of the same pattern. They turned it on all 
sides and looked at it and said, "Please your highness ! 
This is not man-made. It is not possible for us to make 
one of this kind. Precious stones like these are not 
available in this earth. So the only possible way is to 
search for its mate in the place where this was found. 
On hearing these words the King and the queen were 
crestfallen. Seeing this Asokadatta said that he would 
bring the mate of the bangle. Fearing danger the King 
tried to dissuade him. But ASokadatta was not prepared 
to change his decision. He took the bangle and went to 
the burial-ground that night. To get the bangle he had 
to meet the same woman who had left the bangle. He 
began to think of a means to find her out. He procured 
a corpse took it on his shoulder and walked about call- 
ing out "Do you want flesh ?" He heard a voice say 
"Bring it here", and he walked in that direction. He 
saw a beautiful woman who appeared to be the mistress, 
sitting in the midst of so many servant maids on a tree. 
He called out "Take the flesh". She asked "How much 
will it cost?" Asokadatta said, "There is a bangle with 
me. If you will give me another bangle like this you shall 
have the whole body". Hearing the words of Asokadatta 
the beautiful woman laughed and said, "That is my 
bangle. I have its mate with me also. I am the same wo- 
man you saw when you came to give water to the man 
on the scaffold. Now the situation is changed. So you do 
not recognize me. Tonight is the fourteenth lunar night 
too. It was good that you thought of coming to night. 
Otherwise you would not have seen me. Now see; let 
the flesh be there. If you will consent to do what I say I 
shall give you the other bangle also." ASokadatta promis- 
ed to do what she required. Then she began, "There is a 
city in the Himalayas known as Trighanda. There lived a 
giant in that city. His name was Lambajihva. I bearing 
the name Vidyucchikha, am his wife. Only one daughter 




was born to me. Then my husband was killed in a fight 
with his overlord Kapalasphota, who being kind did not 
do us any harm ; and I live in my house now. My daugh- 
ter is now a young woman. I was roaming about thinking 
of a way to tind out a man of might and bravery as hus- 
band for my daughter. Then I saw you going this way 
with the King. The moment I saw you I knew you to be 
the man I was searching for and I decided to give you 
my daughter in marriage. What you heard as the words 
of the man on the scaffold was a trick played by me. You 
brought water to the scaffold and nobody needed water 
then. With the knowledge I have in Sorcery and witch- 
craft I put you into a little confusion. I gave you that 
bangle to bring you again to me and it has served 
the purpose today. Let us go to my house. It is my ear- 
nest wish that you should be the husband of my daughter. 
And I shall satisfy your immediate need also." 
The brave Asokadatta agreed to the request of the 
giantess. She, with her power, took him to their city 
through the sky. Asokadatta saw the golden city and 
wondered if it was the sun taking rest after its tedious 
journey. There he saw the daughter of the giantess and 
thought her to be the incarnation of his adventurous 
spirit. She was beautiful in every part of her body. She 
was called Vidyutprabha. He married her and lived with 
them for a while. Then he said to his mother-in-law 
"Mother ! now give me the bangle. I must go to Kasi. 
I have promised the King to get the mate of this bangle." 
Vidyucchikha gave her son-in-law her bangle and a 
golden lotus flower which he accepted with great joy. As 
before he came with the giantess to the burial-ground 
through the sky. Then she said"! shall be here on every 
fourteenth lunar night on the root of this tree in the 
burial-ground. If you want to see me come on that day." 
"I shall do so", so saying Asokadatta came away and 
went to his parents. They were stricken with grief at the 
departure and exile of their remaining son. They were 
overcome by joy at the return of their son. Not waiting 
long he went to the King, his father-in-law, who embrac- 
ed him with joy. As'okadatta gave him the two bangles. 
He presented the golden lotus flower also. The King and 
the queen were amazed at the daring spirit of ASokad itta 
who told them in detail everything that had happened to 
him. The fame of ASokadatta grew higher and higher. 
The King and the queen thought it a blessing that they 
got so adventurous a son-in-law. Next day the King got 
a casket made of silver and placed the golden lotus at the 
mouth of the casket and placed it on the step of his own 
temple for everyone to see. The white casket and the 
red lotus were very charming to look at and they glistened 
as the fame of the King and of Asokadatta. One day the 
King looked at it with pleasure and said "If we could 
get one more lotus like this, we could make another casket 
and place it on the left side of this". As soon as he heard it 
Asokadatta said "If the King orders it shall be brought". 
But the King said "Ho ' you need not go anymore 
on erranda like this. This is not such an urgent need". 
After a few days the fourteenth lunar night came. Leav- 
ing his wife the princess sleeping in the bed he left the 
palace and reached the burial-ground. He saw his mother- 
in-law the giantess and went with her to the city of the 
giant and lived there happily for a while with his wife 
Vidyutprabha. When he was about to retur n he requested 
Vidyucchikha to give him one more golden lotus. She said 
that there was no more lotus with her and that they grew 

in the lake of the giant King Kapalasphota. Asokadatta 
requested her to show him that lake. At first Vidyuc- 
chikha dissuaded him from this attempt. But he was 
stubborn. So she took him to a place away from the 
lake and showed it to him. The lake was full of golden 
lotus flowers. It was a pleasing sight. Asokadatta imme- 
diately got down into the lake and began to pluck the 
flowers. The guards came and opposed him. He killed 
a few of them. The others went to their master and in- 
formed about the theft. Kapalasphota with his weapons 
came shouting and roaring and saw his elder brother 
Asokadatta. He was overpowered by joy and wonder. 
Throwing away his weapons, with love and devotion 
towards his elder brother he bowed before him. ''My 
brother ! I am Vijayadatta your younger brother. By 
the will of God I lived as a giant so long. You might 
have heard this from father. Because we have met now 
by good luck I remembered that I was a Brahmin. My 
giantness is gone. On that day something obscured my 
mind. That is why I became a giant". When he heard 
the words of his younger brother Asokadatta embraced 
him. Both shed tears of joy. At that time Prajnapti 
Kausika the teacher of the Vidyadharas came to them 
and said, "You are Vidyadharas. All this happened due 
to a curse. Now you and your people are liberated from 
the curse. So learn the duties and functions of your 
class and with your people take your proper place in 
the society." Having taught them everything they re- 
quired he disappeared. Thus the Vidyadhara brothers, 
having plucked golden lotus reached the peak of the 
Himalayas through the sky. Asokadatta went to Vidyut- 
prabha who also having been liberated from curse be- 
came a Vidyadhara girl. With that beautiful girl the 
two brothers continued their journey and reached Kasi 
where they bowed before their parents. That reunion 
appeared to be a dream or something nearing madness 
to their parents. They could not believe their eyes. 
As'okadatta and Vijayadatta each saying his name bowed 
before them. Their parents lifted them up and embraced 
them and kissed them on the head, and cried for joy. 
They did not know what to do or what to say. Their 
minds were incapable of thinking. Everybody heard 
this and was amazed at it. The King was also filled 
with joy. He came there and took them to the palace. 
Asokadatta gave all the lotus flowers to the King, who 
was happy and joyful at the achievement of more than 
he had hoped for. Everybody appreciated them. 
Govindasvami, in the presence of the King asked 
Vijayadatta to tell his story from the moment he turned 
a giant in the burial-place; "We are very curious to 
hear it" he said. Vijayadatta began to say "Father, 
you have seen how because of my mischief, I had brok- 
en that skull and some viscous liquid fell into my 
mouth and I changed to a giant. After that the other 
giants gave me the name Kapalasphota. They invited 
me into their midst. We lived together. After a few 
days they took me to the presence of the King of the 
giants. As soon as he saw me he was pleased with me 
and appointed me as the commander-in-chief of the 
army. He who was overconfident in his power went to 
war with the Gandharvas and was killed in the fight. 
From that day onwards all the giants came under my 
control. Then I met with my brother who came to 
pluck the golden lotus flowers from my lake. With this 
all the previous conditions of my life had vanished. 



My brother will say the rest of the story. When Vijaya- 
datta had finished saying Asokadatta continued the 

Long ago when we were Yidyadharas both of us were 
going through the sky and we saw the hermit maids 
of the hermitage of Galava, bathing in the Ganges. We 
wished to get those girls. The hermits who saw this 
with their divine eyes cursed that we would take birth 
a* men and in that birth we would be separated in a 
wonderful way and both of us would unite again in a 
place where man could not reach and we would 
DC liberated from the curse and learn everything from 
the teacher, and would become the old Vidyadharas 
with our people. And according to this curse we took 
birth as men and separation was effected. You all have 
heard it. Today I went to the lake of the King of the 
giants, with the help of my mother-in-law the giantess 
for plucking the golden lotus flowers and recovered my 
brother, this Vijayadatta. There we learned everything 
from our teacher Prajnapti Kausika and became 
Vidyadharas and have arrived here as fast as we could." 
Thus he informed them everything that had occuired. 
Afterwards by the learning he received from his teacher 
he changed his parents and the daughter of the King 
into Vidyadharas and then bidding adieu to the King 
Asokadatta, with his two wives, parents and brother 
went to the emperor of the Vidyadharas through the 
sky. When they reached there Asokadatta and Vijaya- 
datta changed their names into Asokavega and Vijaya- 
vega. According to the orders of the emperor those 
Vidyadhara youths went to the mountain of Govinda- 
ku|a with their people as it was their abode, and 
lived with happiness and joy. King Pratapamukuta 
with wonder took one of the golden lotus flowers and 
placed it in the temple and with the rest he made 
oblations to god and considered his family to have 
made wonderful achievements. ( Kathasaritsagara, 
Gaturdarikalamba, Taraiiga 2) . 

ASOKASUNDARl. See the word Nahusa. 

ASOKATlRTHA. A holy place near the temple of 
Surparaka. (Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chapter 88, 
Stanza 13). 

AOKAVANIKA. A famous park in Lanka. It was in 
this park that Ravana kept Sita having stolen her from 
Sri Rama. It is described in Valmiki Ramayana, 
Sundarakanda, Sarga 14 and Aranyakanda, Saiga 56 
and in Mahabharata also : 

"Thinking of her husband alone, clad in the garments 
of a hermit woman, eating only roots and fruits, in 
prayer and fast, in sorrow and sadness, she of the wide 
eyes lived in the Asoka park which seemed as a hermit- 
age." (Bhasa Bharata, Aranya Parva Chapter 280 
Stanzas 42 and 43) . 

ASTABANDHA. A kind of plaster used for fixing idols 
in temples. The following eight things are mixed and 
ground consecutively for fortyone days and made ready 
to be put in the cavity around the idol when it is fixed 
there finally, (1) conch-powder (2) powdered myro- 
balam (3) resin (4) Kolipparal (a kind of rock) (5) 
river sand (6) powder of emblic myrobalam (7) lac 
and (8) cotton. 

ASTABHARYA(S). The eight wives of Sri Krsna. (1 ) 
Rukmini (2) Jambavati (3) Satya bhama (4)"kalindi 

(5) Mitravinda (6) Satya (7) Bhadra and (8) Lak- 


ASTABUDDHIGUNA (S) . Eight qualities of the intel- 
lect. Susrusa, Sravana, Grahana, Dharana, Cha, Apoha, 
Arthavijnana, and Tattvajnana. 

ASTACURNA. A mixture of eight powders. The eight 
things are : Cukku (dry ginger), Mulaku (chilli) 
Tippali (long pepper) Ayamodaka (celery seed) Jlraka 
(baraway seed) Karirhjiraka (black caraway seed) 
Intuppu (sodium chloride) and Kayam (asafoetida). 

ASTADASAPURANA (S) . The eighteen puranas. See 
under Purana. 

ASTADH ARMAMARGA( S) . Eight ways of attaining 
moksa : Yaga, Vedabhyasa, Dana, Tapas, Satya, Ksama, 
Daya, lack of desire. 

ASTADH ATU (S). Eight minerals : gold, silver, copper, 
tin, zinc, black lead, iron and mercury. 

eight male and eight female elephants standing guard 
over the eight zones. They are : 
Zone Male Female 

East Airavata Abhramu 

South-east Pundarika Kapila 

South Vamana Pirigala 

South-west Kumuda Anupama 

West Anjana Tamrakarm 

North-west Puspadanta SubhradantI 

North Sarvabhauma Angana 

North-east Supra tika Aftjanavati 


Besides these, there are four diggajas (elephants of the 
universe) who bear the earth standing below in the 
nether world. It is stated that the sons of Sagara who 
went into the nether land in search of the lost horse of his 
father saw these elephants. As they went to the east 
they saw the huge elephant Virupaksa, holding the 
earth on its head. It is said an earthquake occurs when 
for a change it shakes its head. Going to the left of it 
they saw the elephant Mahapadmasama holding the 
earth on its head on the south. Going again to the left 
of it they saw Saumanasa holding the earth on its head 
on the west and going to the left of it on the north 
they saw Bhadra holding the earth on its head. (Val- 
miki Ramayana, Balakanda, Sarga 40). 

ASTADIK(S). ' (Eight zones) . East, South-east, South, 
South-west, West, North-west, North and North-east. 

ASTADIKPALAKA(S). The Devi Bhagavata states like 
this about the eight zones and their guardians. Situated 
in the eight different zones of the Brahmaloka are eight 
big cities of the eight guardians of these zones each 
covering an area of 2500 yojanas. All these are on the 
top of Maharneru and Brahma sits in the centre in his 
city called Manovatl. Around his city are the others as 
follows : 

(1) On the east is AmaravatI, city of Indra. 

(2) On South-east is TejovatI, city ofAgni. 

(3) On the South is SariiyamanT, cityofYama. 

(4) On the South-west is Krsnanjana, city of Nirrti. 

(5) On the West is Sraddhavati, city of Varuna. 

(6) On the North-west is Gandhavati, city of Vayu. 

(7) On the North is Mahodaya, city of Kubera. 

(8) On the North-east is YaSovatl, city of Siva. 

(Astama Skandha, Devi Bhagavata). 
ASTADRAVYA(S). Eight substances of great medicinal 


(1) Arayal, (Asvattha Fig tree) (2) Atti (Udumbara 
Keg tree) (3) Plasu (Palasa Downy branch butea) 
(4) Peral (Vata-Banyan tree) (5) Camata (6) Ellu 
(Sesame) (7) Vayasa (Krsnaguru cedar tree (8) Ghee. 

ASTADUTAGUNA(S). The eight qualities of a good 
messenger. (1) He should not stand perplexed when 
he is being given the message to carry. (2) He must 
be smart and enthusiastic. (3) He must have compas- 
sion for those in distress. (4) He must run his errand 
quickly. (5) He must be mild. (6) He should not be 
duped by the cunning words of others. (7) He must 
be healthy. (8) He must be able to talk convincingly. 

ASTAGANDHA. Akil (Eaglewood), Candana (Sandal), 
Guggulu (Indian Bdellium), Manci (JatamamsI-Spi- 
kenard) Kuiikuma (saffron) , Kofta(Kustta-bostus root), 
Ramacca (Usiram-Sweet rush), Iruveli (Valaka). 

( Ayurveda) 

ASTAGUNA (S) . (1) Bhutadaya, Ksama, Anasuya, 
Gaurava, Anayasa, Marigala, Akarpanya and Asprha. 

(2) Buddhibala, Kulasuddhi, Sama, Learning, Para- 
krama, Mitabhasana, Dana and Krtajnata. 

(3) Absence of Jealousy, Rjutva, Sucitva, Santosa, 
Bhasanabharigi, Sama, Satya, Sthairya. 

ASTAJIHVA. One of the soldiers of Skanda Deva. 
(Sloka 62, Chapter 45, Salya Parva, M.B.) . 

ASTAKA. See under Astika. 

ASfAKA I. A King of the Puru dyansty. 

Genealogy. Descended in order from Visnu as follows : 

Brahma- Atri-Candra - Budha-Pururavas-Ayus-Nahusa- 

Yayati-Puru-Janamejaya-Pracinva - Pravira -Namasyu- 

Vitabhaya - Sundu - Bahuvidha - Sarhyati - Rahovadi- 

Raudrasva- Matinara - Santurodha-Dusyanta-Bharata- 


(This Astaka was the brother of Sunassepha). 

ASTAKA II. A Rajarsi born to Visvamitra of Madhavi, 
wife of Yayati. (Sloka 18, Chapter 119, Udyoga Parva, 
M.B.) . See under Galava. 

1 ) How Aftaka went to heaven. This story was told to 
the Panda vas by the sage Markandeya. 
"Astaka, son of Visvamitra, performed an AsVamedha 
Yaga. All the kings took part in this. Piatardana, 
Vasumanas and Ausinara Sibi, and all the brothers of 
Asfaka attended the function. After the yaga Astaka 
took his three brothers for an air travel and on the way 
met the great sage Narada. Narada was also taken in 
and as they continued their flight. Astaka asked Narada 
who should step down from the aeroplane if only four 
were allowed to go to heaven. "Astaka", replied Narada 
and explained the reason also. Once when Narada 
stayed at the asrama of Astaka the former found many 
varieties of cows there and asked Astaka whose they 
were. Then in self praise Asjaka had said that all 
those were cows which he had given away as gifts. 
Astaka then asked who should get down if only three 
were allowed to go to heaven. 'Pratardana', said 
Narada and explained the reason. Once when 
Pratardana was taking Narada in the former's chariot 
four brahmins one behind the other approached him 
and begged for a horse each. When Pratardana asked 
for some time the brahmins were not prepared to wait 
and so he gave all but one of his four horses and asked 
the fourth to wait. As he was also found to be persistent 
he gave the one drawing his chariot also and dragged the 
chariot himself but abusing the brahmins all the way. It 
was that abuse that gave him the slur. Then Astaka asked 


Narada who should get down if only two were permitted to 
enter heaven. 'Vasumanas', said Narada and explained 
the reason. Narada went to the house of Vasumanas 
three times and each time the latter spoke highly of his 
chariot. Narada also joined in praising his flower-cha- 
riot and the brahmins present theie also followed suit. 
Pleased at this Vasumanas became proud of his possession 
and his vainglorious talks made him unfit. Then Astaka 
asked if only one were allowed to go to heaven who 
should go. 'Sibi', said Narada immediately. Even Narada 
would be only next to Sibi and Narada explained the 
reason thus. Once a brahmin went to Sibi for food. Sibi 
asked him what food he relished most and the brahmin 
said that he would like to have the fresh flesh of Sibi's 
only son, Brhadgarbha. Without even the slightest hesi- 
tation Sibi killed his son and cooked his flesh and when 
the food was ready he went out to invite the brahmin. 
But on going out the King saw the brahmin setting 
fire to his palace, treasury, armoury, stables, harem and 
elephant-sheds. Without even a quiver on his face, the 
king respectfully took the brahmin inside and gave him 
food. The brahmin was amazed at the patience of the 
King and sitting before his food for some time told the 
King that he would be satisfied if the King himself ate 
that food. Respecting the request the King was about to 
eat the flesh of his own son when the brahmin who was 
none other than Brahma in disguise praised him for 
his devotion and gave him back his son adorned with 
sweet smelling flowers and disappeared blessing them. 
When his ministers questioned him about this Sibi said, 
"I do not give for a name or fame. Neither do I give 
for wealth and happiness. I do it because it is the only 
way to be rid of sins". (Chapter 168, Aranya Parva, 

2) Other details. (1) Astaka was a Rajarsi. (Sloka 5, 
Chapter 86, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

(2) Astaka gave away all the punya (goodness) he 
earned to Yayati. See under Yayati. (Slokas 13 & 14, 
Chapter 122, Udyoga Parva, M.B.). 

ASTAKALASYA. This is a gesture in the Kathakali 
dance. In the play 'Kalyanasaugandhika' the character 
of Hanumana and in the play 'Kalakeyavadha' the 
character of Arjuna do enact this. Increasing step by 
step the gesture takes eight forms in combination be- 
fore it is finished accompanied by background drum- 
ming and music. (Kathakali) . 

ASTAKAPALAM. Purodasa prepared out of eight 
Kapalas. (Sloka 24, Chapter 221, Sand Parva, M.B.). 

ASTAKARANA(S). Manas (mind), Buddhi (intelli- 
gence), Citta (thought), Aharhkara (egotism ), Sariikalpa 
in the mind (imagination) , determination, pride from 
egotism and Avadharana in Citta. 

ASTAKASTA(S). Kama (lust), Krodha (anger), Lobha 
(greed), Moha (delusion), Mada (arrogance), Mat- 
sarya (rivalry), Dambha (pride) and Asuya (jealousy). 

ASTAKOPAVYASANA (S) . (1) Paisunya (2) Sahasa 

(3) Droha (5) Irsya (5) Asuya (6) Arthadusana 
(7) Vagdanda and (8) Parusya. 

ASTAKUMBHA(S). Suryabheda, Ujjayl, Silkkarl, 
Sitall, Bhastika, Bhramarl, Murccha and Plavinl. All 
these have to be practised by students of Yoga. (Moksa- 
pradTpam) . 

ASTALOHA( S) . Eight metals. 

1. Suvarnam Gold. 

2. Rajatam Silver. 




3. Tamram 

4. S.sakam 

5. Kantikam 

6. Varhsam 

7. Lauham 


Vangarn Tiu. 
Iron. , 

8. Tiksnalauham Steel. 

ASTAMANGALA.'Brahmins, bow, Fire, gold, ghee, Sun, 
water arid Kim>,. 

ASTAMANG \LYA. ( 1 ) Kurava (2) Darpana (3)D: P a 
(4) KalaiU (5) Vastra (6) Aksatam (7) Arigana 
( 8) Svarna 

ASTAMANOGUNA (S) . (1) Paratva (2) Aparatva (3) 
Sarhkhya (4) Parimana (5) Prthakta (6) Sam-yoga 
(7) Vibhaga (8) Vega.' 

ASTAMANTRl(S). The eight ministers of the kings of 
I ksvaku dynasty are: (1) Jayanta (2) Drsti (3)Vijaya 
(4) Siddhartha (5) Arthasadhaka (6) Asoka 
(7) Mantrapala (8) Sumantra. 

ASTAMARGAS. Samyagdrsti, Samyaksankalpa, Samyag- 
vak, Samyakkarma, Samyagajiva, Samyagvyayama, 
Samyaksm.-ti and Samyaksamadhi.The Buddha Sannya- 
sins have to live according to these eight directives of 

ASTAMBA(S). See the sixth Khandika under Devi. 

ASTAMl. The third skandha of Devi Bhagavata states 
that the goddess, BhadrakalT, came into life on an 
AstamI day to block up the yaga of Daksa. That is 
why the day is considered to be holy and important. 

ASTAMCRTI(S) . Earth, Water, Air, Fire, Ether, Hota, 
Sun and Moon. 

ASTANAGA(S). Eight snakes. Vasuki; Taksa, Karko- 
taka, Sarhkha, Gulika, Padma, Mahapadma and 

ASTANGAHRDAYA. The medical science which deals 
in eight separate division the treatment of the human 
body. (1) Sarlra (2) Bala (3) Graha (4) Urddhva- 
nga (5) Salya (6) Darhsfra (7) Jara and (8) Vrsa. 
Bala Body which has not attained maturity; Graha 
External elements which damage the health of infants; 
Salya extraneous substance lodged in the body; Vrsa 
The seminal fluid. (Directions of treatment). 

ASTANGAYOGA(S). Yama, Niyama, Asana, Prana- 
yama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Dharana and Samadhi. 
1 ) Yama. That which prevents the yogis from doing 
prohibited thing*. Ahirhsa, Satya, Asteya, Brahma- 
carya and Aparigraha are yamas. 

2) Niyama. Actions leading to Moksa. They are : 

(1) SAUCA Cleanliness of the mind cleaning it of 
such bad qualities like jealousy. (2) TAPAS indiffe- 
rence (Samatvabhava) to the pairs of opposites like 
pleasure and pain, heat and cold etc. (3) Svadhyaya 
pursuit of the science of salvation chanting of OM. 

(4) SANTOSA remaining happy and contented. 

(5) ISVARA-'PRAI^IDHANA surrendering all ac- 
tions to God. 

3) Asana. Postures of sitting firmly and comfortably. Of 
the many asarias the very prominent ones are : Svasti- 
kasana, Virasana, Padmasana, Siddhasana, Vastrasana, 
Vyaghracarmasana, Valkalasana, Kusasana, Krsnasana, 
Vistarasani, Mayurasana and Kurmasana. Of these 
Siddhasana is considered to be the best of the lot. This 
asana strengthens the 72,000 nerves of the human system 
and all the yogis prefer this to any other. "Kimanyaih 
bahubhih pUhaih pi the Siddhasane sad" (of what use 
are the others when there is Siddhasana) . 

4) Pranaydma. Control of Prana (Prana is the life giving 
breath and ayama is the checking of it) . Select an airy 
place and be seated in an ordinary asana facing north 
or east after taking your early morning bath. Sit erect 
with your breast slightly pushed forward and your head 
slightly drawn back. Then complete one Pranayama 
doing Puraka, Kumbhaka and Recaka. The Rudraya- 
niala states thus about Pran'tyama. 
Daksaugusthena claksaih ca. 

Ghranam sarhpidya mantravit 
Idaya purayedvayuih 
Matra sotlasabhih kramat 
Dhrtva nasadvayaiii tatah 
Tatastu kampayedvayum caturganaih 
Anamaya t.ttha vama- 
Nasarn dhrtva tu daksine 
Dvatrimsadbhistu matrabhir 

Closing the right nostril by the thumb of the right 
hand and inhaling air inside through the left nostril 
taking 16 seconds is called Puraka. Closing the nostiils 
by the thumb and ring-finger arid keeping the breath 
for 64 seconds is called Kumbhaka. Closing the left 
nostril well and then exhaling through the right nost- 
ril taking 32 seconds is called Recaka. Purakas should 
be done through the same nostril through which you 
have done Recaka. (You must do at least ten Prana- 
yamas at a time) . 

5) Pralydhara. Withdrawing the mind from worldly 
objects and sensuous pleasures. 

6) Dhyana. Keeping your mind fixed on the tip of your 
nose. Meditation. 

7) Dharana. Steadily thinking of things you should know. 

8) Samadhi. The union of mind with God. This is a 
blissful superconscious state in which one perceives the 
identity of the individualised soul and cosmic spirit. 

ASTAPRAMAl^AS. Eight means of getting correct know- 
ledge. Pratyaksa, Anumana, Upamana, Sabda (Agama) , 
Arthapatti, Anupalabdhi (Abhava) Sambhava, Aitihya. 

ASTARAGADIS. Raga, Dvesa, Kama, Krodha, Lobha, 
Moha, Mada and Matsarya ( Raga Desire for sensuous 
pleasures. Dvesa Desire to seek vengeance on those who 
have offended you. Kama Desire for worldly posses- 
sions. Krodha Anger, Lobha Miserliness. Moha 
Delusion. Mada Pride. Matsarya Jealousy. 

ASTATARANl. Eight names of Taranidevi. They are : 
Tara, Ugra, Mahogra, Vajra, Kali, Sarasvati, Kames- 
varl and Camunda. 


1) Birth. The sage Uddalaka had a disciple named 
Khagodara (Kahodara) and a daughter named Sujata. 
Appreciating the devotion and good conduct of his 
disciple, Uddalaka gave his daughter Sujata in marri- 
age to him. Sujata became pregnant. When once 
Khagodara was reciting from the Vedas the babe in the 
womb of Sujata said, "I have learnt the mantra you 
are chanting but the way you chant it is wrong". (The 
vibrations of sound created by the utterance of each 
word is important) . Khagodara was angry and he curs- 
ed his babe in the womb thus "Since your mind seems 
to be crooked let your body also be of that type, with 


curves all over". When Sujata delivered the child it 
had eight bends and light curves and so the boy was 
named Astavakra, meaning one with eight bends. 
(Chapter 132, Vana Parva, M.B.). 

2 ) Father died before he was born. When Sujata was preg- 
nant they suffered much from poverty and at the in- 
sistence of Sujata, Khagodara went to the King Janaka, 
to beg for some money. Janaka was performing a yaga 
then and so Khagodara had to wait. When at last he 
went to the royal assembly he was asked to enter into 
a polemical contest with Vandina, the court scholar and 
having been defeated by him was asked to drown him- 

Uddalaka got a son named Svetaketu and Sujata deli- 
vered Astavakra. Both the boys grew in the asrama 
on great intimacy and Sujata withheld the news of the 
death of her husband from the boys. (Chapter 132, 
Vana Parva, M.B.). 

3) How Khagodara was got back. One day the two boys 
went to bathe in the river and during a controversial 
talk Svetaketu said that Astavakra had no father. This 
teased him much and Astavakra went to his mother 
and gathered all the facts about his father. He went, 
then, straight to the royal assembly of King Janaka. 
He was not allowed inside. The gate keeper said that he 
was only a boy and only learned men could go inside 
the sacrificial hall. Astavakra contended that neither 
size nor age was any indication of one's knowledge or 
worth and got himself admitted into the hall. There 
he entered into a polemical contest with the same court 
scholar, Vandina, who had killed his father. Vandina 
was defeated and was thrown into the same river in 
which his father had drowned himself. The moment 
Vandina fell into the river Khagodara rose up 
from there and the father and son along with Sveta- 
ketu returned to the asrama. Khagodara then took his 
son for a bath and when it was over Astavakra became 
a bright boy without crooks. (Chapter 133, Vana 
Parva, M.B.) 

4) Marriage. Astavakra wanted to marry Suprabha, the 
daughter of a sage named Vadanya. When Vadanya was 
approached for this the Sage decided to test the love 
which Astavakra had towards his daughter and said: "I 
am going to test you. You go to the north to the Hima- 
layas. Pay homage to Siva and Parvatl and go further 
north. There you will find a very beautiful damsel. You 
talk to her and return and when you come back I shall 
give you my daughter." 

Accepting this challenge Astavakra went north. When 
he went to the Himalayas Kubera entertained him. He 
remained there for a year enjoying the dances of celes- 
tial maidens and then, after worshipping Siva and 
Parvatl went further north. There he came across seven 
very attractive women. At the command of Astavakra 
the eldest of the lot, Uttara, remained with him; all the 
rest left the place immediately she started making love 
with him and requested him to marry her. But Asta- 
vakra did not yield and told her about his promise to 
Vadanya. Pleased at this reply Uttara revealed that she 
was the queen of the north in disguise and was testing 
him. She then blessed Asfavakra who fulfilling his 
mission successfully, returned and married the girl he 
wanted. (Chapter 19, AnuSasana Parva, M.B.). 

5) Another version of how the body became crooked. There 
is another story also about Astavakra. Once there lived 



a sage named Asita. He did great penance to please Siva 
to bless him with a child. Siva blessed him and he got a 
son named Devala. Rambha, the queen of devaloka, fell 
in love with him but Devala did not yield to her wishes. 
Then Rambha cursed him and made him into one with 
eight crooks. Thus Devala came to be called Astavakra. 
He then did penance for six thousand years and Bhaga- 
van Krsna accompanied by Radha appeared before hun. 
Radha was shocked by the ugliness of the sage and did 
not relish his sight. But Krsna asking her to remain 
quiet went and embraced him. At once Astavakra lost 
all his crooks and became a beautiful man. At that time 
a chariot descended from heaven and all of them went 
to heaven in it. (Brahmavaivartta Purana) . 
6) Other information. (1) Astavakra was also present 
among the rsis who partook in the coronation ceremony 
conducted after Rama's return to Ayodhya from Larika. 
( Uttararamayana) . 

(2) Astavakra cursed those celestial maidens who re- 
buked him for his ugliness and they were born on earth 
as the wives of Sri Krsna. When after the death of 
Krsna they were being taken by Arjuna to the north they 
were forcibly taken by some of the shepherds. (Chapter 
15, Agni Purana). 

ASTAVAKRATIRTHA. If one observes complete fasting 

for twelve days doing tarpana in this sacred pond it is 

. said that he gets the benefit of doing of Naramedha- 

yajna. (Sloka 41, Chapter 25, Anusasana Parva, M.B.). 

ASTAVAKTRA. See under Astavakra. 

ASTAVARGA(S). Meda, Mahameda, Kakoli, Ksirakakoli, 
jivaka, Itavaka, Rddhi, Vi'ddhi (These are used in infu- 
sions for treating rheumatism) . 


1) Origin. Ganadevatas are called Astavasus. They 
were born to Dharmadeva of his wife Vasu, daughter of 
Daksa. They are : Dhara, Dhruva, Soma, Ahar, Anila, 
Anala, Pratyusa and Prabhasa. (Slokas 17 and 18, 
Chapter 66, Adi Parva, M.B.). There is a version in 
certain puranas that the Astavasus are the sons of 

Different puranas give different names to these Asta- 
vasus. According to Visnu Purana they are : Apa, 
Dhruva, Soma, Dharma, Anila, Anala, Pratyusa and 
Prabhasa. (Chapter 15 of AmSaml). In Bhagavata 
they are Drona, Prana, Dhruva, Arka, Agni, Dosa, 
Vasu and Vibhavasu. In Harivarhsa they are : Akha, 
Dhara, Dhruva, Soma, Anila, Anala, Pratyusa and 
Prabhasa. This only indicates that some of these have 
two or more names for them. 

2) Curse ofVasistha. Once the Astavasus were enjoy- 
ing a picnic with their wives and they happened to go 
to the asrama of Vasistha. One of the wives got ena- 
moured over Nandini, Vasistha's beautiful cow and 
wanted it. The Vasu to please his wife took the cow by 
force and left the place. When the sage found his cow 
missing after some time he understood by his divine 
powers who stole the cow and so he cursed the Asta- 
vasus saying that all of them would be born on earth as 
men. The Astavasus were greatly worried and approach- 
ed the sage apologising and craving for pardon. The sage 
relaxed the curse and declared that their life on earth 
would be only for a very short time maintaining that 
the particular Vasu who committed the theft would live 
for a long time as man. It was this Vasu, Apa (Dyau) 
who was born as Bhlsma. 


3) Rebirth of Affavasus. The Astavasus were pondering 
over the curse and were thinking of how to bear it 
without hardship when Garigadevi appeared before them 
and they then appealed to her: "Devi, if you become 
the queen on earth of some noble King we shall be born 
as your sons and you must throw us into the river as 
soon as we are born". Gangadevi accepted their request. 
Once there was a King called Pratipa in the Candra 
dynasty. One day when this ascetic King was worship- 
ping Surya on the banks of the river Gaiiga a beautiful 
damsel arose from the waters and sat on the right 
thigh of the King. Surprised the King told her thus, "Oh 
beautiful maiden, who are you ? Do you realise what 
unrighteous thing you have done ? I am not one who 
goes after women and it was a bit daring of you to 
have taken me as a beau. Please understand that the 
right thigh is intended for a daughter and daughter-in- 
law. You can claim this right when you become the 
wife of my son." The beautiful girl was none other than 
Gangadevi herself and she disappeared soon on receiving 
the rebuke. 

Pratipa got a son named Santanu and Gangadevi be- 
came the wife of Santanu. (For more details about this 
see under Gaiiga). When Gangadevi became the wife of 
Santanu she made a condition to be his queen. 
"Whether good or bad you should not obstruct any 
action of mine. You must never give me any opinion of 
yours on any matter. You must obey what I order. If at 
any time you break any of these promises I will leave 
you that instant." 

It was while Gangadevi was living on earth as the wife 
of Santanu that the Astavasus were born to her. One 
after the other she threw into the river seven sons but 
when she was about to throw the eighth the King 
objected to it and Ganga disappeared immediately. That 
son was Bhisma, who was none other than Dyau born 
on earth by the curse of Vasisfha. All the others, released 
from the curse, went to heaven. (More details under 

4) A missile to Bhisma. When Bhisma had to fight against 
his guru, ParaSurama, the Astavasus gave him the 
missile, Prasvapa. (See Amba) (Slokasll to 13, Chapter 
183, Udyoga Parva, M.B.) . 

5) Sons of Astavasus. The sons of Apa, the first of the 
Vasus, are : Vaitandha, Srama, Santa and Dhvani. Kala, 
the destroyer of all, is the son of Dhruva. Varcas is the 
son of Soma. Dharma got of his wife Manohari five sons 
Dravina, Hutahavyavaha, Sisira, Prana and Varuna. 
Siva was Anila's wife and she got two sons, Manojava 
and Avijnatagati. Agni's son Kumara was born at 
Sarastamba. Kumara got three brothers, Sakha, Visakha 
and Naigameya. Kumara is known as Karttikeya 
because he was born of Krttikas. The sage, Devala is 
the son of Pratyusa. Devala got two sons of great intelli- 
gence and forbearance. Varastri, sister of Brhaspati and 
a woman of great yogic powers and world-wide travels 
became the wife of Prabhasa. She gave birth to the 
famous ViSvakarmaprajapati. He was the inventor of a 
great many handicrafts and ornaments He became the 
consulting architect of the devas and ranked first in that 
art. The aeroplanes of the devas were designed by him. 
Men on earth depend on his art even now. That archi- 
tect had four sons : Aj ik.npat, Ahirbudhnya, Tvasfa 
and Rudra, the bold. The great ascetics, VisVarupa, 
Hara, Bahurupa, Tryambaka, Aparajita, Vrsakapi, 


Sambhu, Kapardi, Raivata, Mrgavyadha, Sarva and 
Kapali were the sons of Tvasta. These are known as the 
twelve Rudns. Puranas say that there are a hundred 
Rudrys like this. (Chapter 15, AmSa 1, Visnu Purana) . 
ASTAVIDHANAYIKA(S). Eight kinds of heroines of 
the stiige : 

(1) Svddhinapatikd. Fit to be a counterpart in a love 
scene and play the role of one who is always fondled by 
her husband. 

(2) Vdsakasajjikd (Vdsakasajjd). Adorning herself well 
and waiting for her lover in a well decorated bedroom. 

(3) Virahotkan(hitd. Exhausted by the sorrow of separa- 
tion from her lover. 

(4) Vipralabdhd. Cheated by her lover after fixing a 
date and a rendezvous. 

(5) Khanditd. Angered at the arrival of the husband in 
the early hours of the morning with suspicion about his 

(6) Kalahdntarita. Repenting after having arrogantly 
disobeyed her husband. 

(7) Prositabhartrkd. One who has gone weak and moody 
thinking about her husband in a foreign place. 

(8) Abhisarika. One who approaches her husband with 
great passion. (Natyakrama) . 

Agni, Air, Ether, Mind, Intelligence and Egotism. 

ASTAVIDHAPRATIMA(S). Silamayi, Dhatumayi, 
Lohamayi, Lepya, Lekhya, Mrnmayi, Manimayi and 

ASTAVIDHAKUSTHA(S). Vimarccika, Bhadiu, Man- 
dala, Sukti, Siddhmaka, Krsna, Sukla and Taruna. 
(Astangahrdaya) . 

ASTAVIVAHA(S). Eight kinds of marriage. (1) Brahma 
(2) Daiva (3) Arsa (4) Prajapatya (5) Gandharva 
(6) Asura (7) Raksasa (8) Paisaca. Brahma is the one 
where the father gives her daughter with sacred water 
to a bachelor without accepting anything in return. When 
the father gives his daughter to the priest at the time 
of a yaga it is called Daiva. It is Arsa if the father gives 
the daughter and gets in return a cow or bullock. When 
the father gives the daughter with her blessings it is 
Prajapatya. The marriage between two lovers is Gan- 
dharva. It is Asura when the male takes his mate by 
force and it is PaiSacika (most cruel and mean) when 
the girl is taken as his wife when she is in a state of 

ASTAYOGINl(S). The eight hermit-maidens who are the 
attendants of the goddess, Durga. (1) Marjjati (2) 
Karpuratilaka (3) Malayagandhini (4) Kaumudika 
(5) Bherunda(6) Matali (7) Nayaki (8) Jaya (Subha- 
cara ) . 

ASTOPAYA(S). Eight ways of attaining salvation. 
Yajfla, Dana, Vedadhyayana, Tapas, Dama, Satya, 
RjuSila, and Mardava. These are the qualities requir- 
ed for attaining salvation. 

ASTl. Daughter of Jarasandha, King of Magadha. 
Karhsa married Asti and also another daughter of Jara- 
sandha. (Slokas 29 to 32, Chapter 14, Sabha Parva, 
M.B. ) . Chapter 12 of Agni Purana states that Jarasandha 
went to war with the Yadavas because of the per- 
suasion of these daughters. 

ASTRA. After killing the demoness, Tajaka, Visvamitra 
reveals to Rama and Laksmana the secret of using a 
great many varieties of Divyastras (Divyastra is a missile 




charged with power by holy incantation) . Some of 
those astras are named below: 
1. Dandacakra 2. Dharmacakra 

3. Kalacakra 4. Visnucakra 

5. Indracakra 6. Vajrastra 

7. Saivasula 8. Aislka 

9. Brahmasirastra 10. Brahmastra 
11. Modakisikharl 12. Dharmapasa 

13. Kalapasa 14. Varunastra 

15. Varunapasa 16. Paramastra 

17. Pinakastra 18. Narayanastra 

19. Agneyastra 20. Sikharastra 

21. Vayavyastra 22. Prathanastra 

23. Krauncastra 24. HayaSsirastra 

25. Kankalastra 26. Musalastra 

27. Kapalastra 28. Karikanastra 

29. Manavastra 30. Prasthapanastra 

31. Prasamanastra 32. Saurastra 
33. Varsanastra 34. Sosanastra 

35. Santapanastra 36. Vilapanastra 

37. Madanastra 38. Mohastra 

39. Saumanastra 40. Samvartastra 

41. Satyastra 42. Mayadharastra 

43. Tejaprabhastra 44. Saumyastra 
45. Sisirastra 46. Tvasjastra 

47. Sudamanastra 

Sri Rama received all these astras standing facing east. 
(Sarga 27, Balakanda, Valmiki Ramayana) 
ASURA. Those born to Kasyapa of his wife Danu are 
called Danavas and those born of his wife Dili are call- 
ed Daityas. They belong to the demonaic dynasty (Re- 
fer under 'Asuravarhsa' in the genealogy chart) . Re- 
nowned among the asuras were the following : 
Prahlada, Sarhhlada, Anuhlada, Sibi, Baskala, Virocana, 
Kumbha, Nikumbha, Bali, Bana, Mahakala, Vipracitti, 
Sambara, Namuci, Puloma, Visruta, Asiloma, KesI, 
Durjaya, Ayassiras, Asvassiras, Asva, Saiiku, Mahabala, 
Garga, Murdha, Vegavan, Ketuman, Svarbhanu, Asva- 
pati, Vrsaparva, Ajaka, Asvagriva, Suksma, Tuhunda, 
Ekapad, Ekacakra, Vimpaksa, Harahara, Candra, 
Kupata, Kapata, Para, Sarabha, Salabha, Surya and 

ASURA. One of the eight daughters born to Kasyapa 
of his wife Pradha. (Sloka 41, Chapter 65. Adi Parva, 

ASCRBANI PAL. ( See under Gilgamis, Jalapralay a) . 
ASURTARAJASA. A son born to King Kusa of his 
wife VaidarbhI. Kusamba, Kusanabha, Asurtarajasa 
and Vasu are the four sons of Kusa. (Sarga 32, Bala- 
kanda, Valmiki Ramayana) . 

ASVA I. A demon. This was the same demon who later 
on was born as Asoka, King of Kaliiiga. (Chapter 67, 
Adi Parva, M.B.) . 
AVA II. A maharsi. The sage Vasa is the son of this 

rsi. (Sukta 1 12 of Rgveda). 

ASVA (Horse) . Horses and camels were born, in this 
world, of Tamra, wife of Kasyapa, grandson of Brahma. 
(Agni Purana, Chapter 19). 

AlsVAGHOSA. A famous Sanskrit poet. He has written 
many Sanskrit books prominent among which are 
the two great poems, Buddhacarita and Saundarananda 

and a drama called Sariputraprakarana. He lived in 
the 2nd Century A.D. His history of Buddha (Buddha- 
carita) was translated into Chinese during the period 
414 to 421 A.D. He was known under the following 
names also: Acarya, Bhadanta, Mahavadi and Bhiksu. 

AS"VAGRIVA. Son born to the Sage, Kasyapa by his 
wife, Danu. (Sloka 24, Chapter 65, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

ASVAHRDAYA. A mantra (sacred incantation) for 
controlling the horse. (See under 'Aksahrdaya"). 

ASVAKETU. Son of King Gandhara. He fought on the 
side of the Kauravas and was killed in the battle by 
Abhimanyu. (Sloka 7, Chapter 48, Drona Parva, M.B. ). 

ASVAKRTA. A river. Once a sage called Rclka went to 
Gadhi and asked for the hand of his daughter, Satya- 
vatl, in marriage. He demanded as dowry a thousand 
horses black in colour and with only one ear for each. 
Rclka prayed to Varuna and he gave him the horses 
required. The river Asvakrta (created by horse) was 
made by the flow of urine from these horses. ( Chapter 
57, Brahmanda Purana) . 

AVAMEDHA I. A country of ancient India which was 
ruled by a King named Rocaman. Bhlmasena conquered 
him during the world-wide conquering campaign. 
(Sloka 8, Chapter 29, Sabha Parva) . 

ASVAMEDHA II. A yaga. Kings used to conduct this 
in order to get absolved of all sins. Fixing a victory 
card on the head of a horse it is allowed to roam about 
freely. If anybody stops the horse and ties it, the King 
should go and defeat him in battle and bring back the 
horse. If you do a hundred such y'gas you can become 

ASVAMEDHA. Son of King Sahasranlka (Refer under 
Sahasranlka) . 

ASVAMEDHADATTA. Son born to Satanlka of the 
princess of Videha. (Sloka 86, Chapter 95, Adi Parva, 

ASVAMEDHAPARVA. A parva of the Mahabharta. 
See under Bharata. 

ASvANADl. A river in the country of Kuntibhoja. 
AsvanadI joins CarmanvatI and the latter joins the 
Yamuna and the Yamuna joining Ganga falls into the 
ocean. It was through this river that Kuntldevi floated 
in a box the infant Karna. At night accompanied by 
her maid, Kunti floated the box containing her illegiti- 
mate son and stood on the banks of AsvanadI weeping 
bitterly. Then thinking that her father would notice 
her absence from the palace she returned home soon. 
The box floated and reached the country, Campapurl, 
ruled by a charioteer. (Slokas 22 to 26, Chapter 308, 
Aranya Parva, M.B.). 

ASVARATHA. A river in the Gandhamadana valley 
flowing near the Asrama of the sage Ars{iena. Many 
kings of the Candra dynasty used to come and stay in 
this asrama. (Sloka 10, Chapter 160, Vana Parva, M.B.) . 

ASVAS~A1SIKU. Son of Kasyapa born of his wife Danu. 
(Sloka 21, Chapter 67, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

ASVAPATI I. Father of the most chaste woman, Savitri. 
He was King of Madra. He was without children for a 
long period and for eighteen years he worshipped the 
goddess, Savitri and got a maiden from Agnihotra whom 

* Asvamedha_or horse sacrifice was performed by autocrats to establish their supreme sovereignty. For this the horse let out to roam 
about should go into all coutttries. Those who opposed the sovereignty of the King could stop the horse and tie it. Then the King hatf 
to defeat him before conducting the yaga. The vedas enjoin that the sacrificial horse should be followed by a hundred young men ceadv 
to fight those who opposed the King. Indra had conducted a hundred such yagas. 



he named as Savitri. For more details sec under Savitri. 
(Chapter 293, Vana Parva, M.B.). 

AaVAPATI II. The son born to Kasyapa of his wife 
Danu. (Sloka 24, Chapter 65, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

ASVASENA. A serpent which lived in the forest of 
Khandava. This was the son of Taksaka and he tried 
his best to escape from the fire that burnt the forest. 
(Sloka 5, Chapter 239, Adi Parva ; M.B.) . 
Once when Arjuna and Kt?na were sitting on the banks 
of the river Yamuna, Agni'approached them and request- 
ed them to help him burn the forest of Khandava (see 
under Khandavadaha ) . They agreed to help him and 
Agni started burning the forest. Indra poured rains over 
the fire; Arjuna created a canopy of arrows and prevent- 
ed the rains from falling down. Asvasena, son of 
Taksaka tried to escape from the fire but Arjuna obs- 
tructed his way by arrows. Then Asvasena's mother 
swallowed him and kept him in her stomach. Arjuna 
cut off her head. Seeing this Indra sent a cyclone to 
smash the canopy of arrows and Arjuna fell fainting. 
Taking the opportunity Asvasena escaped. When Arjuna 
woke up from his unconscious state he found Asvasena 
missing. Then Arjuna cursed him thus : "Let not you 
get refuge anywhere." (Chapter 226, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 
Asvasena kept his grudge against Arjuna till the end. 
In the great battle Arjuna and Karna met for a fight 
and when Karna sent his Nagastra (serpent missile) 
against Arjuna, Asvasena hid himself in that missile 
and burnt the beautiful headwear of Arjuna. But Karna 
did not like this foul play and refused to accept him 
when he came back. Enraged at this the serpent attacked 
Arjuna directly and was killed. Before his death he got 
acquainted with Krsna. (Chapter 96, Karna Parva, 

ASVASlRAS I. A son born to Kasyapa of Danu. (Sloka 
23, Chapter 65, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

ASVASlRAS II. Bhagavan Hayagriva who was teaching 
the Vedas at Vaihayasakunda near Naranarayanasrama. 
(Sloka 3, Chapter 127, Santi Parva, M.B.). 

ASVASlRASTHANA(M). A sacred place in ancient 
India. Arjuna dreams of going to Siva with Krsna and 
in that dream they visit this place also. (Chapter 80, 
Drona Parva, M.B.) . 

ASVATAKA. A country of ancient India. (Sloka 15, 
Chapter 51, Bhisma Parva, M.B.). 

AS VAT AR A. A serpent. A sacred pond built in Prayaga 
also carries this name. (Sloka 76, Chapter 55, Vana 
Parva and Sloka 10, Chapter 35, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

ASVATlRTHA. An ancient holy place on the banks of 
the river, Ganges, near Kanauj. It was at this place 
that the horses rose from the earth at the request of 
Rclka Rsi to Varuna (See under AsVakrta). (Sloka 
17, Chapter 4, M.B.) 


1 ) Birth and genealogy. The semen of Bharadvaja Rsi 
fell into the hollow of a bamboo and from there was 
born Drona. As per the instructions of his father Drona 
married Krpi, daughter of the sage, Saradvata. The 
good-natured Krpi gave birth to Asvatthama. (See 
under Drona for genealogy). (Chapter 130, Adi Parva, 

2 ) Ho:v he got his name. The moment he was born he 
made a loud hoot like Uccaisravas and the sound resem- 
bled the braying of a horse. Immediately a voice from 
heaven said that the boy should be named As\ atthama. 

The boy was, therefore, named so. (Slokas 48 and 49, 
Chapter 130, M.B.). 

3 ) Training in archer}!. Asvatthama took his lesson in 
archery from his father Drona. At that time Drona got 
new lessons from Parasurama and they were also im- 
parted to Drona's disciples. When Drona became the 
preceptor of the Kauravas and Pandavas Asvatthama 
also went with him. (Slokas 52 to 64, Chapter 130, Adi 
Parva, M.B.) . 

4) Drona's affection for his son. Drona was very affec- 
tionate to his son and wanted to teach him something 
special in archery. So he used to instruct him during 
the time the other disciples went to fetch water for the 
asrama. Arjuna came to know of this and he, there- 
after, started bringing his quota of water quickly 
enough to join the special class of Drona. Thus Arjuna 
and Asvatthama leai ned a lot more than the others in 
the military art. (Slokas 17-19, Chapter 132, Adi 
Parva, M.B.) . 

5) The Mahdbharata Battle and Asvatthama. In Sabha 
Parva we find AsVatthama participating in the Raja- 
suya of Yudhisthira. After that we meet him only at 
the Kuruksetra war. Fighting on the side of the Kau- 
ravas he played a very important role in that war. He 
killed many veteran warriors and kings including the 
following : Nila, Afijanaparva, Suratha, Satrunjaya, 
Balanika,Jayanika, Jayasva, Srutasva, Hemamali, Vtsa- 
dhara,Candrasena, the ten sons of Kuntibhoja, Sudar- 
sana, Vrddhaksetra, Cediraja, Malayadhvaja and Sura- 
tha. He defeated many including Sikhanctt, Abhimanyu, 
Virata, Satyaki and Vindhya. By using Agneyastra 
(the arrow of fire) he made Krsna and Arjuna fall 
fainting in the battle-field. He commanded the Kaurava 
army once. He killed many Pancalas and Somakas 
while they were sleeping. In Chapter 139 of Drona 
Parva we read about Arjuna defeating Asvatthama in 
a single combat one day. 

6) Asvatthama sees a ghost. Dhrstadyumna, son of King 
Pancala, killed Drona. When Asvatthama heard of 
his father's death his rage knew no bound. He imme- 
diately went to the heart of the military camp of the 
Pandavas, Krpa and Satvata following him. There at the 
gate of the camp he beheld a ghostly apparition. It is 
described in the Bhasa Bharata ( Malayalam version of 
M.B. ) as follows : He saw a huge figure standing at the 
door with a body blazing like the Sun and the Moon. 
Bathed in blood and wearing a tiger's skin in the loins 
the figure wore a snake as his sacred thread and cover- 
ed his upper body with a deer-skin. There were innu- 
merable hands for this ghost and in each hand adorned 
with snake-bangles he held a deadly weapon. With 
crooked teeth and a ghastly face the goblin gave a 
shiver to those who saw him. Flames bursting forth 
from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth he barred the way 
of Asvatthama. Undaunted the son of Drona showered 
divine arrows on the figure. But the ghost by his sup- 
reme powers absorbed the arrows to his body the 
moment they touched him. In despair Asvatthama 
meditated on Siva and the latter appearing before him 
in person gave him a divine dagger. With that he entered 
the bed-chamber of Dhrstadyumna, woke him up by 
striking him with his foot, caught hold of him by the 
hair on his head and killed him. 

7) Aivatlhama and his jewel. The anger of Asvalthama did 
not abate even after killing Dhrsfadyumna, the butcher 



of his father. With a view to destroying the whole Pand- 
ava dynasty he sent against the Panda vas the all-power- 
ful Brahmasirastra (a missile charged with great power 
by a holy incantation) . But Drona had given the same 
type of missile to Arjuna also and so he sent forth his to 
meet the other. It created such a great explosion that 
all the elders on both the sides joined together and re- 
quested them to withdraw the missiles. Arjuna demanded 
the jewel on AsVatthama's head to withdraw his missile. 
But Asvatthama refused to part with it. He said, "This 
jewel of mine is more valuable than all the wealth of both 
Pandavas and Kauravas put together. If you wear this 
you need not be afraid of your enemies, disease, hunger 
and thirst. No harm will come to you from Yaksas, 
Nagas or thieves. I will never part with such a jewel 1 '. 
(Slokas 28-30, M.B., Chapter 15, Sautika Parva). After 
great persuasion Asvatthama surrendered his jewel but 
without withdrawing the missile directed it towards the 
womb of Uttara who was bearing a child then. We 
are reminded of an incident which happened when 
the Pandavas were residing in Upaplavya; a poor 
brahmin looking at Uttara said, "When the Kauravas 
will be weakening in power a child will be born to you. 
The boy will have to bear a test even while in the 
womb and so you must name the child Parlksit (One 
who has been tested)". 

When the powerful missile was flying straight towards 
Uttara's womb Sri Krsna said, "Even though the child 
in the womb will die of this arrow it will be reborn. 
Oh, Asvatthama, you will be denounced by all as a 
sinner for killing this unborn babe. To suffer for this 
evil deed you will roam about in the earth for three 
thousand years. Nobody will associate with you; you will 
be shunned by society. You will be tormented by all 
diseases on earth. But the babe which you have now 
killed will be a famous scholar and brave King. He will 
rule this country for sixty years. He will be known 
as the next Kururaja. Look, I am giving life to the babe 
you have killed". Vyasa supported Krsna, and Asvat- 
thama repenting on his hasty action gave the jewel to 
the Pandavas and left for the forest with Vyasa. 
(Sautika Parva, M.B.) . 

8) Synonyms of Asvatthama. The Mahabharata has used 
the following names also for AsVatthama. Acaryanan- 
dana, Acaryaputra, Acaryasuta, Acaryatanaya, Acarya- 
sattama, Drauni, Draunayani, Dronaputra, Dronasunu, 
Guruputra, Gurusuta and Bharatacaryaputra. 

ASVATTHAMA II. Indravarma, King of Malava, had 
an elephant of this name and it was killed in the battle 
by Bhlmasena. (Sloka 15, Chapter 190, Drona Parva, 
M.B.) . 

ASVAVATl. A river. It is believed that if one just thinks 
about it at daybreak, midday and sunset one will get 
salvation. (M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 165, Sloka 
25) . 

ASVAVAN. The first child of King Kuru. (See under 
genealogy of'Kuru) . His mother was Vahini. He is known 
as Aviksit also. He got eight sons : Pariksit, Sabalasva, 
Adiraja, Viraja, Salmali, Uccaihsravas, Bhayankara 
and Jitari. (Slokas 50 to 53, Chapter 94, Adi Parva, 

Dasra, the two sons of Surya (The Sun) are called 
Asvianikumaras. (Slokas 17 and 18, Chapter 150, Anu- 
sasana Parva, M.B.). They are also known as Asvins, 

and Asvirudevas. These two are the physicians 
of the devas. (Sloka 12, Chapter 123, Aranya Parva, 
M.B) . 

1) Genealogy. Descending from Visnu in order are : 
Brahma, Marlci, Kasyapa, Vivasvan (the Sun), 

2) Birth. The Visnu Purana describes the birth thus: 
"Samjna, daughter of Visvakarma, was the wife of 
Surya. She got three children : Manu, Yama and Yaml. 
Once finding the effulgence of Surya unbearable she 
engaged Chaya to look after Surya and left for the 
forests to do penance there. Surya took Chaya to be 
Sarhjna and got three children of her : Sanaiscara, 
(another) Manu and Tapati. Once Chaya got angry 
and cursed Yama. It was then that Surya and Yama 
came to know that she was not Samjna, getting more 
details from Chaya, Surya found out by his Jnanadrsti 
( a power of sight developed by Yoga by which one 
could see things far beyond the limits of his vision) 
that Samjna was practising austerities taking the form of 
a mare. Then Surya went to her disguised as a horse 
and with her co-operation produced three children of 
which the first two became known as A svinikumaras. The 
third son was called Revanta. Then Surya took Samjna 
to his place (Chapter 2, Amsa 3, Visnu Purana). 
Sloka 35 of Chapter 66 of Adi Parva states that Asvini- 
kumaras were born from the nose of Samjna. 

3 ) How Asvinikumaras tested Sukanya. The Devi Bhaga- 
vata contains a story of how the Asvinikumaras tested 
the fidelity of Sukanya, daughter of Saryati and made 
her old and senile husband into a young and virile one. 
Saryati, son of Vaivasvata manu, had four thousand 
beautiful princesses as wives. But none had any child- 
ren. When they were lamenting over this misfortune 
one of the wives gave birth to a girl and she was called 
Sukanya. The father and all his wives together brought 
up this daughter with great affection. 

In the neighbourhood of the palace of Saryati there was 
a tapovana as good and grand as Nandanavana and it 
contained a lake similar to the Manasa lake. In one 
corner of this tapovana a sage named Cyavana was 
doing penance. He had been sitting there for so long a 
period without food meditating on a goddess that he was 
covered with plants and shrubs had grown over him. He 
was unaware of the growth around him. Once at this 
time Saryati with his wives and child and followed by a 
large retinue entered the tapovana for recreation. The 
King and his wives entered the lake and Sukanya with 
her friends moved about in the garden plucking flowers 
and playing. Moving about thus aimlessly Sukanya and 
party reached the place where Cyavana was doing 
penance. She saw the huge shrubby growth and while 
looking at it saw two gleaming points inside the shrubby 
heap. She was about to break open the thing when from 
inside she heard somebody addressing her thus : "Oh, 
innocent girl, why do you think of doing this mischief. 
Please do go your way. I am an ascetic. What wrong 
have I done to you for you to disturb me like this ?" But 
Sukanya brought up as she was, as a very pet girl did 
not like anybody advising her like this and so taking a 
pointed stick gave two pricks at the site of the gleam- 
points and left the place arrogantly. 
The gleam-points were the eyes of Cyavana and so he 
lost his eyes and suffered much from the pain. Though 
he felt angry he did not curse anybody. But slowly the 




country began to witness the evil effects of this cruel 
deed. People stopped passing urine or faeces. Even 
animals were affected. The King and his ministers were 
worried. People came on deputation to the King to 
describe the disaster that had gripped the state. The 
King began to doubt that somebody must have done some 
great injury to the sage, Cyavana. He started enquiries 
asking his subjects one by one about this. But everybody 
replied in the negative. He bribed, he threatened. The 
result was the same. Then one day while the King and 
his courtiers were sitting despondent Sukanya approach- 
ed her father and confessed what she had done. She 
said : "While I was playing with my friends in the 
tapovana I saw this huge shrub-heap and two points 
gleaming from inside. I took a pin-stick and pricked 
them both and on drawing it out I found it wet also. 
But I left the matter there and never made any 
enquiries thereafter". Saryati now knew the cause of this 
national disaster and so immediately rushed to the sage 
for forgiveness. Prostrating before the rsi the King pleaded 
"Oh, best of rsis, forgive us for this injury done unknow- 
ingly. My daughter who is only an innocent child did 
this playfully while she was playing in this garden with 
her friends. She never knew what she pricked for a fun 
were your eyes. Oh, the best of sage, thou art rich in 
forgiveness and so please do condone this mischief and 
bless us." Cyavana replied that he would forgive if he 
gave Sukanya in marriage to him. Saryati was depressed. 
How could he give his only and beautiful daughter to 
this aged senile ugly and blind rsi ? While the King was 
thus pondering over this, Sukanya herself came to him 
and said, "Oh, dear father, please do not worry on 
my account. I shall go as his wife. If he is satisfied 
the nation would be saved from a calamity and I am 
prepared to sacrifice my happiness for the sake of the 
country. I will be only too glad to do so." With suppress- 
ed unwillingness the King gave his daughter in marri- 
age to Cyavana. 

Sukanya after her marriage engaged herself fully in the 
service of looking after the welfare of her husband. She 
gave her husband healthy and tasty fruits and vegeta- 
bles, bathed him daily in hot water, placed before him 
all the materials for his puja and when the time came 
for his meals gave him his food sitting by his side. After 
the meals she gave him tambula and only after putting 
him on a bed would she go to attend to her own affairs. 
Alter finishing her meals she would come again to her 
husband and sit by his side massaging him. In the even- 
ing she would make ready all the things required for the 
puja. and after the puja feed him with nourishing food. 
Whatever remained after his feed would be taken by her. 
At night she would be at the foot of her husband and 
take a nap. In the morning she would attend to all the 
details of the ablutions of her husband. Thus Sukanya 
lived true to her husband always anxious to please him. 
Then one day the Asvinlkumaras saw her going to the 
asrama after her bath. They were very much attracted 
by the stunning beauty of the maiden that they approach- 
ed her and asked : "Oh, beautiful maiden, who are you? 
We are Asvinlkumaras. You seem to be alone. How did 
you happen to come to this place ? You are one who 
should always move about with friends and courtiers 
and what is the reason for your living like this ?" 
Sukanya replied, "Revered Devas, I am the daughter of 
Saryati and wife of Cyavana. Forced by certain circum- 

stances my father gave me in marriage to this sage who 
is very old and blind. He is living in the aSrama nearby. 
I am living with him looking after his comfort. If you 
think it convenient you can come and accept our 
hospitality." Hearing this the Asvinlkumaras told her 
thus : "Sweet girl, you are fit to be the wife of one who 
is better than this blind old ascetic. So please do accept 
one of us as your husband". Sukanya did not relish 
this talk and threatening them that if they did not with- 
draw stopping such blabbering she would curse them 
to ashes. The Asvimdevas were a bit surprised and also 
frightened at the attitude of Sukanya. "Oh, Princess, 
we are immensely pleased at your sense of righteousness 
and chastity and you can ask of us a boon. We are 
physicians of the devas and can give your husband his 
sight and can also make him young and virile. But there 
is a condition for this. As soon as your husband be- 
comes young and handsome we will also become like 
him and then you can select one among us. Are you 
willing? If so we will make your husband charming and 
handsome at this instant. 

Sukanya was well pleased with this offer but the condi- 
tion placed did not satisfy her. So she ran to the asrama 
and told her husband thus : "Lord, I met the ASvim- 
devas on my way from the river after my bath and 
enamoured of my beauty they have made this offer. We 
will make your husband young and beautiful giving him 
back his eyesight and then we will change ourselves to 
resemble him. You have then to select one of us as your 
husband. I am not able to understand their cunning and 
so I have come to you to get from you the answer for 
their question. I am anxious to see you young and hand- 
some with your eyesight regained. I shall do as you 

Cyavana said : "There is nothing in this for great think- 
ing. You go and tell them that you would do as they 
wish and bring them down here. On hearing this Sukanya 
went to the Asvinlkumaras and took them to the asrama. 
They asked Cyavana to take a dip in the lake nearby 
and as he entered the lake the Asvimdevas also entered 
it and took a dip in its waters along with Cyavana. Lo ! 
As they rose from the waters all the three became young 
and handsome looking alike. The AsVinldevas then 
requested Sukanya to select one among them. Sukanya 
was in a fix and she prayed to her goddess to give her 
power to identify her husband. She was blessed with 
that power and she selected Cyavana from the lot at 
which the Asvimdevas were also pleased. (Seventh 
Skandha, Devi Bhagavata). 

4) Cyavana's gratitude. Cyavana who got back his eye- 
sight and youth asked the Asvinlkumaras what boon 
they wanted. They then told him thus : "We are the 
physicians of the devas. Devendra has unnecessarily put 
a ban on our drinking Soma (juice extracted from the 
creeper Soma) . When Brahma performed a yaga at 
Mahameru this leader of the devas did not allow us to 
take a soma drink. If you are capable of doing it you 
should get us the right to take this celestial drink." 
Cyavana promised to do that. 

Before long, King Saryati and his wife came to the 
asrama to enquire about the welfare of their daughter. 
To their great amazement they found a young and hand- 
some ascetic at the asrama and were a bit suspicious of 
the character of their daughter. But soon all doubts were 
cleared and they were immensely pleased. Cyavana then 


told the King the request of the ASvinldevas and Saryati 
also promised his help on this matter. 
On their return to their palace Saryati decided to per- 
form a big yaga to which all the devas were also invited. 
Cyavana officiated as priest. The AS vimdevas were also 
present quite to the dislike of Indra. The time came for 
distributing soma, and when Cyavana called the Asvinl- 
kumaras to take their share Indra objected saying that 
since they were physicians of the devas they could not 
be given that drink. Cyavana argued against that and 
after a great verbal combat Cyavana succeeded in 
making the Asvinlkumaras take the drink. For more 
details look under 'Cyavana'. (Seventh Skandha, Devi 
Bhagavata) . 
5) Other information regarding ASvinikumaras. 

(1) How they tested Upamanyu. This story is given 
under the word Apodadhaumya. 

(2) Birth of Nakulaand Sahadeva. KuntI, wife ofPandu, 
had obtained from Sage Durvasas five sacred mantras, 
the chanting of each of which would give her a child. 
Even before her marriage Kunti tested the power of the 
mantras by chanting one of them. Surya appeared and 
she had to take a son from him who became the famous 
Karna later. By chanting the second, third and fourth 
meditating on Yama, Vayu and Indra, KuntI got 
respectively the sons Dharmaputra, Bhlma and Arjuna. 
The fifth mantra she gave to Madri and she meditated 
on the AsVinldevas and got Nakula and Sahadeva. 

(3) The As vinidevas were present for the marriage of 
Pancali. (Sloka 6, Chapter 186, Adi Parva, M.B.). 
During the burning of the forest Khandava the AS vini- 
devas stood on the side of Arjuna. 

(4) King Yuvanasva became pregnant and bore a child. 
It was the AS.inldevas who took the child out by surgery. 
The boy became known as Mandhata later. (Sloka 3, 
Chapter 62, Drona Parva, M.B.). 

(5) During the Mahabharata battle the AsVinidevas 
handed over some Parsadas to the god, Skanda. (Sloka 
38, Chapter 43, Salya 'Parva, M.B.). 

(6) The Asvinldevas like very much oblations of Ghee. 
The others who like it are Brhaspati, Pusan, Bhaga and 
Pavaka. (Sloka 7, Chapter 65, AnuSasana Parva, M.B.). 

(7) The month of AsVina (October-November) is the 
month of ASvimkumaras and if a man gives ghee to the 
Brahmins freely in that month he will acquire more 
physical beauty. (Sloka 10, Chapter 65, Anusasana 
Parva, M.B.) . 

(8) One who offers Ghee as oblation to the fire for 
twelve months in succession will reach the country of 
the Asvimkumaras. (Sloka 95, Chapter 107, AnuSasana 
Parva, M.B.). 

(9) The great poet of Kerala, Vallathol, in his com- 
mentary on the 93rd Sukta of the Rgveda states that 
there is a belief that the AsVins and Candrasuryas (the 
Sun and Moon) are one and the same. 

(10) Dirghasravas son of Dlrghatamas once prayed to 
the AsVimdevas to get rains and it is said that they gave 
a downpour of sweet water. (Rgveda, Sukta 112, Rk 11). 

(11) Once a sage named Gotama was lost in a desert 
and craved bitterly for drinking water. He prayed to the 
ASvinidevas for water and they dug a well itself in the 
desert and quenched the thirst of the sage. (Rk 9, Sukta 
16, Rgveda). 

(12) The sage Dadhyanc taught the Asvinldevas the 
technique, Madhuvidya. There is an interesting story 


about it. It was Indra who taught this to Dadhyanc 
and while teaching him he had threatened that if he 
gave away that secret to anybody else his head would 
be cut off. ASvinidevas found a way to tide over this 
difficulty. They at first cut off his head and fixed the 
head of a horse on him. It was with the head of a 
horse that Dadhyanc taught them Madhuvidya and 
as soon as the teaching was over his horse-head was 
cut off and the real head placed in its place. (Rk 22, 
Sukta 116, Rgveda). 

(13) The vehicle of the ASvinldevrs is a donkey. 
Once this donkey in the disguise of a wolf went and 
stayed with RjraSva, son of the Rajarsi Vrsagir. Rjra- 
sVa gave the wolf to eat hundred goats belonging 10 
the people of the place. Vrsagir got angry at this act 
of his son and cursed him. The son became blind and 
he got back his eyesight by pleasing the AsVinldevas 
by prayer and offerings. (Rk 16, Sukta 115, Rg- 
veda) . 

(14) Once Surya decided to give his daughter in 
marriage to the owner of the horse which would win a 
horse-race which Surya would conduct. In the race the 
horse of the Asvin r devas won and they thus married 
Surya's daughter. (Rk 17, Sukta 117, Rgveda). 

(15) The AsVinikumaras killed an asura of name 
Visvak and destroyed his dynasty also. (Rk 16, Sukta 
117, Rgveda). 

ASVINlKUMARATlRTHA. It is believed that the 
physical beauty of man would be increased if he bath- 
es in this lake- (Sloka 17, Chapter 83, Vana Parva, 
M.B.) . 

ASVINlSUTA. A son born to Surya of the wife of 
Sutapas. There is this story about it in Brahmavai- 
varta Purana. Once when the wife of Sutapas was on 
a pilgrimage Surya happened to see her. The beautiful 
and venerable lady refused to accede to the desire of 
Surya and so the latter used force and took her. They 
had a son who was named AsVinlsuta. On her return 
after the pilgrimage with her son she explained all that 
happened and the sage sent both of them out. Surya 
taught his son AsVinisuta astrology and made him a 
master in that science. Knowing that, Sutapas cursed 
him and said he would turn to be one very diseased. 
Later the sage amended his curse and added that he 
would be free from disease if he worshipped the sun. 

ASVINlTlRTHA. Promises bodily splendour if one 
takes a bath in this lake. (Sloka 21, Chapter 25, 
AnuSasana Parva, M.B.) . 

ATALA. This is one of the seven sections of Patala. The 
seven sections are : Atala, Vitala, Sutala, Talatala, 
Mahatala, Rasatala, Patala. Of them Atala has been 
described as follows : Atala is the first world of Patala. 
There reigns Bala, the son of Maya who is the famous 
but haughty magician. He has cieated 96 Mayas who 
are capable of granting all kinds of desires. Even now 
certain persons who are interested in the practice of 
Black magic, learn some of these 96 arts and practise 
them. When this mighty fellow opens his mouth for 
yawning, three groups of women known as PumScalls, 
Svairinis and KaminTs emerge from his mouth. He has 
with him a rasayana called hataka with which he can 
eaisly entice and seduce all who enter Atala and to 
strengthen them for satisfying his lust. After enticing 
them with it, he enjoys uncontrolled pleasure with 
them, showering on them his amorous glances, bewitch- 



ing smiles and embraces. (Devi Bhagavata, Asjama 
Skandha) . 

ATAVlSlKHARA. Name of a village in ancient India. 
(M.B., Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 48). 

ATHARVA(M). Among the Vedas, this has the fourth 
place. It comprises different kinds of incantations of 
occult powers for the destruction of enemies. Atharvan 
the son of Vasistha was the author of this Veda. In 
Chapter 6 of the third section of Visnu Purana the 
following reference is made to Atharvaveda: "Sumantu 
Maharsi who was of infinite glory, first taught this 
Atharvaveda to his disciple Kabandha. (Sumantu 
Maharsi was the son of Jaimini, who was the disciple 
of Vedavyasa ) . Kabandha divided Atharvaveda into 
two parts and communicated them to two Maharsis 
named DevadarSa and Pathya. DevadarsVs disciples 
were: Medha, Brahmabali, Sautkayani and Pippalada. 
Pathya had three disciples named Jabali, Kumudadi 
and Saunaka. They also made Atharvaveda compila- 
tions. Saunaka divided his compilation into two and 
gave one part to Babhru and the other to Saindhava. 
Munjikesa learnt it from Saindhava and divided the 
compilation first into two and later into three parts. 
The five divisions of the Atharvaveda Naksatrakalpa, 
Vedakalpa, Samhitakalpa, Angirasakalpa and Santi- 
kalpa, were made by Mufijikes'a. Naksatrakalpa con- 
tains Brahma's works : Samhitakalpa contains Mantra 
Vidhi ; Angirasakalpa contains abhicara and Santikalpa 
contains taming of horses, elephants etc. 
The mantras (incantations) in Atharvaveda and their 
uses are given below : 

Mantras Uses 

1. Suparnastava Getting rid of serpents and snake- 

poison (Sarpa-badha-nivaranam ) 

2. Indrenadatta Fulfilment of all desires (Sarva- 

kama-siddhi) . 

3. Ima Devi Attainment of peace (Sarva- 

Santi-karma) . 

4. Devamaruta Attainment of peace (Sarva- 

santi-karma) . 

5. Yamasyalokat Prevention of bad dreams (Duh 

svapna-Samana ) . 

6. IndraScandraSca Prosperity in commerce and 
pancavanija business (Vanijya-labha) . 

7. Kamojevaji Enjoyment of women (Stri- 

saubhagyam) . 

8. Tubhyamevaja- Equal to thousand sacrifices 
vima (Ayuta-homa-tulyam). 

9. Agnegobhinna Strengthening of the intellect 


10. Dhruvarhdhru- Attainment of posts of honour 
vena (Sthana-labha) 

1 1 . Alaktajiva- Profit from agriculture (Krsi- 


12. Ahan te bhagna Prosperity in general. 

13. Ye me paSa Freedom from imprisonment 

(bandhana-vimukti) . 

14. Sapatvaha Destruction of enemies (Satru- 

naSam) . 

15. Tvamuttama Enhancement of fame (yao- 


16. Yathamrgavati Enjoyment of women (Strl sau- 


17. YenapehadiSa Birth of children (Grabha-labha ). 

18. Ayante yonih Getting sons ( Putra-labha ) . 


19. SivaSivabhih 

20. Brhaspatirnah 
pari patu 

21. Muncavitva 



Prosperity in general (Saubhagya- 

vrddhi ) . 

Blessings (Marga-maiigala ) . 

Warding off death (Mrtyu- 

When these mantras are chanted several oblations are 
made to the sacrificial fire. Substances like Camata, ghee, 
rice, milk are thrown into the fire as offerings. (Agni 
Purana, Chapter 262). 

ATHARVA I. This muni is referred to in Mahabharata, 
Udyoga Parva, Chapter 43. Verse 50, as a professional 
chanter of Chandaveda. Once under the curse of Bhrgu 
Maharsi, Agni hid himself under the sea. (See "AGNI'). 
At that time, it was Atharva who, at the suggestion of 
the Devas, went under the water and discovered Agni. 
(M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 222, Verse 8). 
Atharva recovered Agni, and re-created the worlds 
which were lying dormant owing to the absence of fire. 
(M.B.,Vana Parva, Chapter 222, Verse 19). 
Atharva was born from Brahma's face. His wife was 
Santi, the daughter of Kardama. Citti was another 
name for Santi. But there are some Puranas which re- 
fer to Citti as another wife of Atharva. Also ; there are 
Puranas which say that Atharva was Aiigiras himself. 

ATHARVA II. This name has been used as a synonym 
of Siva. (M.B., AnuSasana Parva, Chapter 17, Verse 

ATHARVA III. In Rgveda another Atharva maybe 
seen. It is said that he was the author of the Atharva- 
veda. After learning Brahmavidya from Brahma, it 
was this Atharva. who first brought fire to the earth 
from heaven. Atharva had two wives named Santi and 
Citti. This Atharva was the same person as Atharvana, 
the son of Vasistha. (Bhagavata, 4th Skandha, Chap- 
ter 1). 


ATHARVANA. A son of Vasistha. (Bhagavata, Fourth 
Skandha, Verse 42). 

ATHIDA (M) . Name of a Janasthana (Town) in ancient 
India. (M.B., Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 64). 

ATIBAHU. He was a Gandharva born to KaSyapa by 
his wife Pradha. He had three brothers : Haha, Huhu 
and Tumburu. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 

ATIBALA. A mantra. Visvamitra who took the boys 
Rama and Laksmana to the forest taught them two 
mantras, Bala and Atibala, to liberate them from 
hunger and thirst. Valmiki Ramayana, Balakanda, 
Sarga 22) 

ATIBALA I. The Maharsi Atibala was the cause of the 
death of Sri Rama and Laksmana. 

After the war with Ravana, Sri Rama returned to Ayo- 
dhya with his retinue and began his reign. After re- 
nouncing Sita while Sri Rama was living in the palace 
with Laksmana, Satrughna and their families, one day 
Brahma summoned Yama and said : "Sri Rama is the 
incarnation of Mahavisnu. He has fulfilled all the pur- 
poses of the incarnation. Now Visnu has to be recalled 
to Vaikuntha". 

On hearing this, Yama assuming the guise of a Sanny- 
asi named Atibala appeared before Sri Rama. He said 
he had to tell a secret to Sri Rama. Accordingly Sri 
Rama sent everyone else out of the audience chamber. 




Laksmana was asked to guard the entrance. It was 
announced that if anyone entered the hall, Laksmana 
would be killed. 

At this stage, Maharsi Durvasas arrived at the entrance 
accompanied by many of his disciples. He had come 
after having performed penance for a thousand years 
and in great hunger and thirst. He wanted to see the 
King to ask for sumptuous food. Laksmana requested 
him to wait a little but Durvasas refused to do so. He 
even threatened that he would reduce all of them to 
ashes by his curse. Finding no alternative, Laksmana 
entered the hall and informed Sri Rama of the situation. 
Durvasas was given a sumptuous meal. But for the ful- 
filment of the condition Liksmana's death became neces- 
sary. Sri Rama cried with a broken heart. The honest 
Laksmana went alone to the Sarayu river and drowned 
himself in its depths. Soon after, Sri Rama entrusting 
the affairs of the state to others and in the presence of 
thousands of spectators plunged into the Sarayu river 
and renouncing his earthly life, returned to Vaikunfha. 
(Uttara Ramayana). 

ATIBALA II. The name of a follower given to Skanda 
by god Vayu on the battle-field. (M.B., Salya Parva, 
Chapter 45, Verse 4.4). 

ATIBALA III. There was another King named Atibala 
who was a great scholar in Nltiiastra. From the tine 
of his accession to the throne, he began to lead a 
vicious life. This Atibala's father was a King named 
Anariga. (M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 59, Verse 92) . 

ATIBHIMA. One of the sons of the Agni, Tapa. (M.B., 
Vana Parva, Chapter 220, Verse 11). 

ATIKAYA. One of the sons of Ravana. 

1) Previous Birth. This is a story concerning the initial 
stage of the creation of the Universe. After completing 
the task of creation Brahma, in his pride fell into a sleep. 
In order to slight Brahma a little, Mahavisnu produced 
two Raksasas called Madhu andKaitabha from his ears. 
Hearing their terrible roar Brahma woke up in fear and 
fled to Mahavisnu seeking refuge. Visnu called Madhu 
and Kaitabha and asked them what boon they 
would like to ask. They proudly replied that they would 
grant a boon to Visnu. In that case Mahavisnu wanted 
them to grant him leave to kill them. They answered : 
"We will not break our promise about granting the 
boon. But since our passion for fighting has not been 
abated, you must fulfil our eager desire." Mahavisnu 
said : "I agree. But let my boon be carried out first. 
After that I shall see that your wish is properly fulfill- 
ed. After your death, one of you will be reborn under 
the name of Khara and the other under the name of 
Atikaya. In the Tretayuga I shall kill Khara in single 
combat after allaying his passion for fighting. Laksmana 
who is the incarnation of Ananta will fight with 
Atikaya to his full satisfaction and kill him. Thus both 
of you will get Virakti and Mukti." 

After saying this, Mahavisnu made the two asuras 
stand ^on each of his thighs and killed them with his 
Sudarsana Cakra. They were born again as Khara and 
Atikaya. (Kamba Ramayana, Yuddha Kanda). 

2) Birth. There is a story about the birth of Atikaya 
in the Yuddha Kanda of Kamba Ramayana : After 
his victory over Kubera Ravana was returning in his 
Puspaka Vimana. On his way he saw some beautiful 
Gandharva women playing in the valley of Mayuragiri. 
Their leader was Citratigl, the wife of Citraiigada. 

Ravana seduced her and had a secret union with her. At 
once she became pregnant and gave birth to a dazzlingly 
bright baby. The mother handed over the child to 
Ravana and returned to the world of the Gandharvas. 
Ravana, in his paternal love, took the child into the 
Vimana and proceeded. On the way, the Vimana 
knocked against a mountain peak and the baby was 
thrown overboard and fell in the forest. Ravana stop- 
ped the Vimana and made a search for the baby in the 
forest. He found the child without the slightest injury, 
smiling and lying on a flat rock in the deep woods. He 
failed in his attempt to take it up even though he used 
ten of his hands. The child began to grow steadily in 
size. Then he tried again to lift the baby up using all 
his twenty arms. The boy, who had by this time grown 
into enormous size, suddenly sprang up and getting in- 
to the Vimana took his seat in it. Ravana gave him the 
name Atikaya. On his arrival in Lanka, he presented 
him as adopted son to the barren Dhanyamala.. 
Atikaya was brought up by Dhanyamala. 

3) The Boons. Atikaya went to Gokarna and did pe- 
nance to please Brahma. Brahma appeared, but being 
fully absorbed in Samadhi, Atikaya was not aware of 
his presence. Even his [life-breath had been stopped. 
Brahma, by his power, instilled life-breath into him and 
restored him to consciousness. He granted Atikaya all 
the boons he asked for. They were three in number. 
The first was the gift of Brahmastra which could smash 
anyone. The second was the gift of an armour which 
was unassailable by anyone. The third was absence of 
thirst, desire and other cravings. 

4) Education. Atikaya went to Kailasa and received 
his education from Siva. He learnt all the sciences, 
Arts, Sruti, Smrti etc. from there. On the completion 
of his course he asked what Gurudaksina he should 
pay. Siva made him promise that he would never 
practise Black magic. Pleased with him, Siva awarded 
him the Pasupatastra. 

5) Victory in Battle. Atikaya had an uncle, a Raksasa 
named Candra. Once he was defeated by Indra. It was 
at this time of chagrin that he came to know that 
Atikaya had reached Lanka with the Pasupatastra. 
Candra Raksasa ordered Atikaya to bring Indra as a 
captive. Atikaya went to Svarga (Heaven) and began 
a war with Indra. Mahavisnu who came to help Indra 
used his SudarSana cakra. Atikaya shot his PaSu- 
patastra. Knowing Atikaya's history well, Mahavisnu 
brought the battle to a close. Both parties accepted the 
position that Devendra had lost the battle and Atikaya 
had won. 

6) Death. In the Ramayana battle Atikaya fought 
on the side of Ravana. After a most terrible conflict, 
Laksmana killed Atikaya. (Kamba Ramayana, Yuddha 
Kanda) . 

ATILOMA. An Asura who was killed by Sri Krsna. 
(M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 38). 

ATIMANYU. He was one of the ten sons of Manu. 

ATIRATHA. There was a King named Matinara in 
PuruvarhSa. (See PORUVAMA). Four sons were born 
to him:Tamsu, Mahan, Atiratha and Druhyu. (M.B., 
Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Verse 14). 

ATIRATRA. He was one of the ten children born to 
Manu by Nadvala. (See MANU VANl-lA). Kuru, 
Puru, Satadyumna, Tapasvl, Satyavan, Suci, Agnistoma, 
Atiratra, Sudyumna and Atimanyu were the names of 



the ten brilliant sons of Nadvala. (Visnu Purana, Part 
I, Chapter 13). 

ATISAN.DA. After his death Balabhadra Rama went 
to Patafa in the guis^ of Ananta. All the serpents wor- 
shipped him. Among them was a serpent named Ati- 
sanda. (M.B., Mausala Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 16). 
ATl '-. NGA. Vindhya Presented two parsadas to Skanda 
on the battlefield. They were AtiSrnga and Ucchrriga. 
(M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verses 49, 50). 
ATISTHIRA. Mah'meru presented two Parsadas nam- 
ed Atisthira and Sthira to Skanda on the battlefield. 
(M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 45, yerse 48) . 
ATITHI (guest). In ancient Bharata Atithi-satkara 
(hospitality to a guest) was considered as a yajfla. In 
Manusmrti, Chapter 100, Verse 3, it is said that even if 
one lives on the scattered grains in the fields after har- 
vest, and even if penance is offered in the midst of 
Pancagni (five fires) unless the Brahmin who comes 
as a guest is fed, all virtuous deeds would be useless. 
Besides, Manu has made the following remarks about 
the Atithi (guest) . 

"A new visitor at night must be treated as an Atithi. 
An Atithi is one who comes occasionally, not daily. 
But one who lives in your village and goes about as a 
vagabond for a living, does not deserve to be treated as 
an Atithi. The guest who comes either before or after 
mealtime should not be sent away without being fed. 
Even a VaiSya or Sudra who comes as a guest to a 
Brahmin's house has to be given food when the servants 
are given food." 

ATITHIGVA. He was a King referred to in the Rg- 
veda. He had another name, "Divodasa". This King 
had fought several battles against Asuras with the help 
of Indra. It is said that once, being afraid of the Asuras, 
he tried to hide himself under the water. (Rgveda, 
Mandala 1, Anuvaka 10, Sukta 53; Rgveda, Mandala 
1, Anuvaka 16, Sukta 112). 

ATIVARCAS. Himavan gave Skanda two Parsadas on the 
battlefield. They were Ativarcas and Suvarcas. (M.B., 
Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 46). 

ATIYAMA. God Varuna gave Skanda on the battlefield 
two Parsadas (attendant soldiers). One of them was 
Yama and the other was Atiyama. (M.B., Salya Parva, 
Chapter 45, Verse 45) . 

1) The son of Brahma. Atri Maharsi was one of the 
imnasaputras of Brahma. The manasaputras were : 
Marlci, Angiras, Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, and Kratu 
(M.B.,'Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 10). 

2) One of the Saptarfis. Brahma's sons, Marlci, Angiras, 
Atri, Pulastya, Pulaha, Kratu and Vasistha are known 
as the Saptarsis (seven sages). (M.B., Santi Parva, 
Chapter 208) . 

3 ) Creator of the pracetases. The sage Pracinabarhis was 
born in the family of Atri Maharsi. Ten Pracetases 
(Prajapatis) were born as the sons of this Muni. (M.B., 
Sakti Parva, Chapter 208). 

4) Citra Sikhandi. Among the seven Munis known as 
Citra Sikhandis, we see Atri Maharsi as one of the 
Astapraki-tis which form the basis of the Universe. 

5) Important events. (1) How Mahavi$nu became Atri's son. 
Kasyapa had a son named Kasipu. He was a very mighty 
ruler and carried on his reign in an ungodly manner. 
In a terrible battle which took place at that time between 
the Devas and Asuras Kasipu was killed. Prahlada be- 

came the Asura King. Then there was a battle between 
Indra and Prahlada. After six years' war, Prahlada with- 
drew, defeated. Later Mahabali, the son of Virocana 
(grandson of Piahlada) became emperor of Asuras. War 
broke out again between Mahabali and Indra. In this 
war, Mahavisnu helped Indra. The Asuras were utterly 
defeated. They sought refuge with Sukra, the Asura guru. 
Sukra promised to help them. He set out to the Hima- 
layas to receive a powerful mantra from Siva. The 
Asuras kept waiting for Sukra's return. 
At this stage, Mahavisnu who was the protector of Indra, 
came to Sukra's aSrama and killed Sukra's mother, 
Kavyamata. Seeing this impudence of Mahavisnu, Bhrgu 
Maharsi was enraged and cursed him that he should be 
born many times in human wombs. It is on account of 
this that Mahavisnu had to take many avataras (incar- 
nations). It was in this way that Mahavisnu incarnated 
as Dattatreya, the son of Atri. (Devi Bhagavata, 4th 

(2) Atri and ParaSara. It was a time when Vasistha and 
VisVamitra were in a state of mutual ill-will. Once King 
Kalmasapada was going about in the forest on a hunting 
expedition. He met Sakti, the eldest son of Vasisfha in 
the forest. The King did not respect him properly. Sakti 
transformed Kalmasapada into a Raksasa by his curse. 
The Raksasa who was also a cannibal, first swallowed 
Sakti himself. VisVamitra offered whatever help he 
could, to destroy Vasistha's family. Kalmasapada ate 
successively all the 100 sons of Vasistha. Vasistha, in great 
sorrow and Sakti's wife, Adfsyanti lived in an aSrama. 
AdrsyantI was pregnant at the time of Sakti's death. 
In due course she gave birth to a boy who was called 
ParaSara and who later on became the father of Vyasa. 
when Paras' ara grew up, he came to know that his father 
Sakti was eaten by the Raksasa. Enraged at this, he 
started a yajfla to annihilate the whole race of Raksasas. 
As the yajfia gained intensity and force Atri Muni arrived 
there with certain other Maharsis and dissuaded Para- 
Sara from the yajfla. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 181 ). 

(3) Atri's dispute with Vainya. Atri Maharsi and his 
wife once got ready to go for Vanavasa. At that time the 
poor Maharsi's wife was in great distress because they 
had no money to be distributed to their disciples and 
children. She requested her husband to go to King 
Vainya and to beg for some money. Accordingly the 
Maharsi visited King Vainya at his (The shed 
where a yaga is held) . He began to flatter Vainya by say- 
ing that he was the first among kings and so on. Vainya 
did not like it. He began to dispute with Atri. Vainya 
remarked that Indra was the first King. To settle the 
dispute they went together to Sanatkumara Muni. 
Sanatkumara sent them away reconciled. After that 
Vainya gave Atri much wealth. After distributing all this 
wealth among their sons and disciples Atri and his wife 
set out to the forest to perform penance. 

(4) How Atri became Sun and Moon. Once there was 
a fierce battle between Devas and Asuras. Owing to the 
shower of arrows from the Asuras, the Sun and Moon 
became dim. Darkness spread everywhere. The Devas 
began to grope in the dark. They requested Atri Maha- 
rsi to find a remedy for this. Moved by their distress, 
Atri suddenly transformed himself into the Sun and 
Moon. The Moon gave light to the Devas. The Sun 
burnt up the Asuras by his intense heat. Thus the 
Devas were saved. This story was told by Vayu Bhaga- 




vana, to Arjuna. (M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 156). 

(5) 'Atri and King Vrsadarbhi. In the Mahabharata we 
find a story about a difference of opinion between 
King Vrsadarbhi and some Maharsis. This story was 
told by Bhlsma to Yudhisthira about the kind of per- 
sons from whom Brahmins may accept gifts. Once the 
Munis, Kasyapa, Atri, Vasistha, Bharadvaja, Gautama, 
Visvamitra, Jamadagni, and Pasusakha, with Arun- 
dhati and Ganda, who were the wives of two Munis, 
travelled round the world. Their object was to go to 
Brahmaloka. At that time there was drought in the 
world. King Vrsadarbhi, the son of Sibi, suggested that 
the above-mentioned Munis should be called and given 
wealth. They refused to accept it. Vrsadarbhi became 
angry. He performed Homa in Ahavanlyagni and from 
the agnikurida, the Raksasi Yatudham (Krtya) arose. 
Vrsadarbhi sent Yatudham to destroy Atri and all 
other Munis. As Yatudham was guarding a lotus pond 
in the forest, the munis led by Atri happened to come 
that way. The Maharsis were able to recognize 
Yatudham. They beat her with their tridandu (Trident 
or a kind of magic wand) and reduced her to ashes. 
After satisfying their hunger by eating the lotus flowers 
the Maharsis went to Brahmaloka. (M.B., Anusasana 
Parva, Chapter 93). 

(6) Atri and Srdddha. There is a passage in the Maha- 
bharata in which Atri gives advice to the emperor Nimi 
who belonged to Atri's family. The story of how Sraddha 
originated in the world which Bhlsma had told Dharma- 
putra was retold by Atri. A son named Dattatreya 
was born to Atri, the son of Brahma. Dattatreya be- 
came King. Nimi was his son. Nimi's son died after 
one thousand years. Nimi who was in deep grief at the 
death of his son, ordained a Sraddha in memory of his 
son. On that occasion Atri Maharsi came there and 
explained to Nimi the importance of Sraddha. (M.B., 
Anusasana Parva, Chapter 91, Verses 20-44). 

(7) How Brahma, Visnu and MaheSvara (Siva) were born 
as sons of Atri. There is no other woman in the Puranas 
who surpasses Silavati in her fidelity to her husband. In 
order to enable Ugrasravas, her husband, to satisfy his 
passion, she once carried him on her own shoulders to 
a prostitute's house. On the way, Mandavya Muni 
pronounced a curse that UgraSravas should die before 
sunrise. The grief-stricken Silavati pronounced a 
counter-curse that the sun should not rise on the next 
day. As the sun failed to rise, the Trimurtis (Brahma, 
Visnu and Siva), accompanied by Anasuya, Atri's wife, 
went to Silavati. Anasuya persuaded Silavati to with- 
draw her curse. The Trimurtis who were happy at the 
success of their mission (of bringing about the Sunrise) 
asked Anasuya to demand any boon she wanted. Ana- 
suya expressed her wish that the Trimurtis (Brahma, 
Visnu and Siva) should be born as her sons and they 

Mahavisnu, under the name of Dattatreya, was born 
as the son of Anasuya. Siva was born to her under the 
name of Durvasas. There is a story about it in the Brah- 
manda Parana. Once Siva got angry with the Devas. 
They began to flee for life. But Brahma alone did not 
run away. Siva who became more furious at this, 
pinched off one of the heads of Brahma. Still he was 
not pacified. Parvatl who was alarmed, approached Siva 
and ^ begged him to suppress his anger. At her request, 
Siva's fury was transferred and deposited in Anasuya, 

Atri's wife. Durvasas is the embodiment of that element 
of Siva's fury. 

According to the promise, Brahma also took his birth 
as the moon from Anasuya, the wife of Atri. (For that 
story, see PURURAVAS). There is a story about that 
also in the Brahmanda Purana. Once when Brahma 
was performing the task of creation, he experienced 
carnal passsion. Sarasvati was the offspring of that 
passion. When Brahma saw her, he fell in love with her 
also. This made him feel angry towards Kamadeva. He 
pronounced a curse that Kamadeva should be burnt up 
in the fire from Siva's eye. (This is why Kamadeva was 
later burnt to death by Siva) . Although Kama had 
retreated from Brahma his passion had not been sup- 
pressed. Brahma transferred his passion to Atri Maharsi. 
The Maharsi gave it to Anasuya, his wife. Since she 
was unable to bear such a violent passion, she gave it 
back to her husband. That passion emerged from Atri's 
eye in the form of the Moon. This is why lovers experi- 
ence strong passion for each other at the time of the 
rising of the moon. (Brahmanda Purana, Chapters 
39-43) . 

(8) Atri and Ganga Devi. Once, while Atri Maharsi 
was performing penance in Kamada forest, there was 
a terrible drought in the country. At that time, his wife 
Anasuya made a Sivalinga of sand and offered worship 
to it. Then Atri asked her to give him a little water. 
There was no water anywhere. Suddenly Ganga Devi 
appeared there and said to Anasuya : "There will be 
a hole here. Water will come out of it in a torrent." 
Pure water began to flow from the place pointed out 
by Ganga Devi. Anasuya begged Ganga Devi to stay 
there for a month. Ganga Devi agreed to do so on con- 
dition that Anasuya would transfer her Tapi -kti to 
her for one month. 

Atri was pleased by drinking the water. He asked Ana- 
suya where she got such nice fresh water. She explain- 
ed to him all matters. Atri expressed his desire to see 
Ganga Devi. She appeared before him at once. Ana- 
suya prayed to her that Ganga should continue to exist 
in the world always. Ganga Devi answered that she 
would do so if Anasuya was prepared to give her the 
fruit of one year's Tapasiakti and of devoted service to 
her husband. Anasuya agreed to that condition. Sud- 
denly Siva appeared there in the shape of a Linga. At 
the request of Atri and Anasuya Siva took his seat 
there permanently assuming the name of "AtriSvara". 
(Siva Purana). 

(9) Other Details. 1. Besides Dattatreya, Durvasas 
and Candra. Atri had another son, Praclnabarhis. 
(M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 208, Verse 6). 

2. Many Pavakas had been born in Atri VarhS.i. (M.B., 
Vana Parva, Chapter 222, Verses 27-29). 

3. When the Kaurava-Pandava war was raging with 
great fury, many Maharsis went to Drona and advised 
him to stop the battle. Atri Maharsi was one of them. 
(M.B., Drona Parva, Chapter 190, Verse 35). 

4. On another occasion, a King named Soma performed 
a Rajasuya (Royal sacrifice) . Atri Maharsi was the 
chief priest at this yaga. (M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 
43, Verse 47). 

5. Atri was also among the Maharsis who had gone to 
witness ParaSurama's tapas. (Brahmanda Purana, Chap- 
ter 64) . 




6. Rgveda, 5th Mandala was composed byAtri. (Rgveda 
S irhhita, Preface) . 

7. Once the Asuras put Atri Maharsi into the Sata- 
d\'ara yantra (a machine of torture with a hundred 
holes). Rgveda, 1st Mandala, 16th Anuvaka, Sukta 

8. Once the Asuras tried to burn Atri alive. (Rgveda, 
1st Mandala, 16th Anuvaka, Sukta 112). 

9. The Asuras at another time made Atri lie down 
in a machine with a large number of holes and tried 
to burn him alive in it. At that time he prayed to the 
Asvins and they liberated him. (Rgveda, 1st Mandala, 
17th Anuvaka, Sukta 116). 

10. Atri was among the Maharsis who visited Sri 
Rama, on his return to Ayodhya after the war with 
Ravana. (Uttara Ramayana). 

1 1 . From the navel lotus of Visnu Brahma was born, 
Atri from Brahma, Soma from Atri, and Pururavas from 
Soma were born. (Agni Purana, Chapter 12). 

12. Atri begot by Anasuya, Soma, Durvasas and Datta- 
treyayogl. (Agni Purana, Chapter 20). 

ATRI II. In the Puranas another Atri, the son of Sukra- 

carya, is also seen (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 65, 

Verse 27). 
ATRI III. The term Atri has been used as an epithet 

of Siva. (M.B., AnuSasana Parva, Chapter 17, Verse 

AU. This word means Mahesvara (Siva). (Agni Purana, 

Chapter 348) . 
AUDAKA. This is the place where Narakasura with his 

ten thousand girls was once imprisoned. It is a plateau 

on the top of Maniparvata. Because water was in 

plenty there the place was called 'Audaka'. An asura 

named Nuru was the keeper of this plateau. (Sabha 

Parva, M.B.). 
AUDDALAKA. A holy place of ancient India. The 

place got this name because the sage Uddalaka lived 

there. It is believed that if one bathes in this holy place 

one will be absolved of all his sins. 
AUDUMBARA. The King of the state of Udumbara. 

This king once paid respects to emperor Yudhistfiira 

and gave him several presents and gifts. (Sloka 12, 

Chapter 53, Sabha Parva, M.B.) . 
AUKTHYA. A glorifying prayer in Samaveda. (Sloka 

36, Chapter 134, Vana Parva, M.B.). 
AURASlKA. A country of ancient India. Sri Krsna 

conquered this land. (Sloka 16, Chapter 11, Drona 

Parva, M.B.). 
AURVA I. (Urva, Uruja). A fierce saint of the line 

of Bhrgu Maharsi. 

1) Genealogy. Descending in order from Visnu, Brahma, 
Bhrgu, Cyavana, Aurva. 

Cyavana Maharsi married Arusi, daughter of Manu. 
Aurva was her child who was the grandfather of Jamad- 
agni and the great grandfather of Paras' urama. 

2) Birth. The Preceptors of the Bhrgu dynasty were the 
hereditary gurus of the Kings of Hehaya. Krtavirya a 
famous King of the Hehaya dynasty and father of Kar- 
taviryarjuna had his education from a Bhrgu rsi living 
in his a$"ama. On competing his education the king 
paid lavishly and the Bhrgus became rich thereafter. 
Krtavirya died and his sons did not very much like the 
Bharg ivas (Bhrgus) becoming rich by the wealth of 
their ancestors. Knowing this the Bhrgjs started bury- 
ing their wealth under the earth. Once a Ksatriya 

king forcibly dug out from the house of a Bhrgu the 
wealth he had safely buried and from that day onwards 
the Ksatriyas and the Bhargavas became enemies. The 
Bhrgus were hunted down by the Ksatriya kings and the 
Bhargavas frightened by this move left their abode and 
went and hid in Caves in mountains far away. Among 
those who thus fled was Arusi, wife of Cyavana. Arusi 
was pregnant at that time and she hid her 'Garbha' in 
her thighs while ileeing. A brahmin woman who saw 
this went and informed the Ksatt ivas and they imme- 
diately went and caught hold of her. Then the thigh 
broke and a boy came out of it. Because he was born 
from the thighs the boy was named Aurva. (Oru = 
Thigh and so, born of a thigh). (Chapter 179, Adi 
Parva, M.B.) . 

3) The effulgence of Aurvz. Aurva was born with fiery 
radiance and the sudden effulgence made the Ksatriya 
Kings blind. Frightened they craved for pardon and 
praised him. They got back their eyesight then. 

4) Aurva and Badavagni. Aurva bore a deep grudge 
against the Ksatriyas who had massacred his fore- 
fathers. Aurva started doing rigorous penance and by 
the force of his austerities the world started to burn. At 
that stage the Pitrs appeared before him and persuaded 
him to withdraw from his penance. Aurva then told 
them thus; ''Pitrs, while I was lying in the thigh-womb 
of my mother I heard hideous groans from outside and 
they were of our mothers when they saw the heads of 
our fathers being cutoff by the swords of the Ksatriyas. 
Even from the womb itself I nurtured a fierce hatred 
towards the Ksatriyas. No helping hand was raised 
before the pitiable wails of our mothers". 

The Pitrs were astounded at the firmness of the vow of 
Aurva and horrified at the thought of what would 
happen if the penance was continued. They pleaded 
again to cease his austerities and then submitting to 
their request Aurva withdrew the fire of his penance 
and forced it down into the sea. It is now believed 
that this fire taking the shape of a horse-head is still 
living underneath the sea vomiting heat at all times. 
This fire is called Badavagni. More about this can be 
had under the head Badavagni. (Chapter 180, Adi 
Parva, M.B.). 

5) Aurva and the birth of Sagira. Ayodhya was once 
ruled by a celebrated King of Iksvaku dynasty named 
Subahu. He had as his wife Yadavl a good natured and 
well behaved woman who was a gem among queens. 
One day Talajamgha a King of the Hehaya line of 
rulers who was then the King of Mahismatl defeated 
Subahu in a battle. Yadavl was then pregnant. Jealous 
co-wives poisoned her ; Yadivl did not die but the 
poison affected the child in the womb. 

After the defeat, and Yadavl went and stayed 
with Aurva in his asrima. For seven years they lived 
there and then Subahu died. Grief-stricken Yadavl was 
about to jump into the funeral pyre and end her life 
when Aurva stopped her from the act pointing out that 
she was soon to deliver a child. After a few months she 
delivered a son and Aurva called him 'Sagara' meaning 
one with 'gara' (poison) in him. (Brahmanda Purana, 
Chapters 16, 17). 

6) A-trva and the sister of Giruda. Garuda, son of 
Vinata, had a sister named Sumati. Upaminyu, a sage, 
wanted to marry her but neither she nor her relatives 
liked it. Enraged at this the sage cursed Sumati saying 




that the brahmin who married her would have his head 
burst. The marriage of Sumati thus remained a prob- 
lem for her parents. There was a friend of Vinata, a 
sannyasinl, living in a forest and to find a way to escape 
from the curse Vinata sent Garuda to her. The sannya- 
sinl advised Garuda to approach Aurva to find a solution 
for the problem and Aurva was therefore approached 
for advice. 

It was at this time that the people of Ayodhya. came in 
search of Subahu and Yadavl who had left them years 
before. When they knew of Subahu's death they were 
plunged in sorrow but were glad to know a son of 
Subahu, Sagara, had grown up to be a successor to 
Subahu. When Garuda made Aurva acquainted with 
the pitiable tale of his sister Aurva decreed that Sumati 
should marry a Ksatriya instead of a brahmin and thus 
tide over the curse. He then asked Sagara to marry 
Sumati and blessed them saying that Sagara would one 
day become an emperor and perform an Asvamedha 
yaga. Aurva then sent Sagara along with the people 
to Ayodhya where Sagara after defeating all his enemies 
became the emperor of Bharatavarsa. (Brahmanda 
Purana, Chapters 18-21 ). 

7) Sagara s sons and how Aurva helped in getting them. 
Sagara ruled the land for three thousand years. He had 
besides Sumati another wife, Kesini. Both of them bore 
no sons for Sagara. Dejected he entrusted the adminis- 
tration of the state with his ministers and left for the 
asrama of Aurva. Aurva blessed them and prophesied 
that Kesini would deliver a son to continue the dynasty 
and that Sumati would deliver sixty thousand sons of 
no great use at all. Sagara and his wives, returned to 
the palace and very soon both his wives became preg- 
nant. In due time Kesini delivered a son who was 
named Asamanjas. But Sumati gave birth to a lump of 
flesh. Greatly pained the King was about to throw it 
away when Aurva appeared there and stopped him from 
doing that. He directed him to cut the piece of flesh 
into sixty thousand pieces and put one piece each in a 
jar of ghee. Every year one prince would be born from 
one of them. Thus Sumati got sixty thousand sons. 
(Brahmanda Purana, Chapter 92). 

8) Teaching of Aurva. In the evening of his life Sagara 
went and stayed in the asrama of Aurva. Aurva gave 
him instructions on many a divine subject. He taught 
him about the importance of the four aSramas, the 
rituals to be practised by the different castes of Brah- 
mana, Ksatriya, Vaisya and Sddra and many such 
other things. Finally Aurva gave Sagara Brahmajnana. 
(Chapter 8, Ariisam 3, Visnu Purana). 

9) Aurvdsrami. All the Bhargava rsis together once 
stayed in the asrama of Aurva. Parasurama visited the 
aSrama one day during that time and paid respects to 
Bhrgu, Khyati, wife of Bhrgu, Cyavana, son of Bhrgu 
and Aurva, son of Cyavana. (Brahmanda Purana, 
Chaptre 63). 

AURVA II. A brahmin living in the country of Malava. 
This brahmin got a daughter named Samika by his wife 
Sumedha. She was married very early to Mandara, son 
of Dhaumyaka and disciple of Saunaka. After some 
days when Mandara found his wife fully grown he went 
to Aurva to bring his wife home. Aurva sent them both 
to the house of Mandara with his blessings. On their 
way home they met the Maharsi Bhusundi and burst 
into laughter at his sight. The sage cursed them and 

the feet of a sage named Mahodara 
going that way. The skull went deep 

made them into two trees. When Aurva found his 
daughter and son-in-law missing he started a search for 
them. Then he came to know that both of them had 
changed into trees by a curse. Aurva and his wife then 
prayed to God for help. Aurva then lived in the tree 
of Sama in the shape of Agni and Saunaka made an 
idol of Ganapati with the root of the Mandara tree and 
worshipped him. Ganapati was pleased by the devotional 
deeds of Aurva and Saunaka and changed the trees 
again into Samika and Mandara. (Ganesa Purana) . 

AUSANAS (Kapalamocana). A holy place on the 
banks of the river, Sarasvatl. Brahma, the devas and 
many maharsis lived here once. (Chapter 83, Vana 
Parva) . 

This place is called Kapalamocana also. There is a 
story behind the place getting this name- 
At the forest of Dandaka Sri Rama killed many demons. 
The force of the arrows took the skulls of the demons 
to far off places in the forest. One of the skulls thus 
sent far fell on 
who was then 

into his foot and not only did it wound his foot 
but it stuck to his foot so hard that it could not 
be drawn out also. With his foot in pains the sage 
visited all the holy places but with no relief to his pain. 
At last Mahodara came to AuSanasa and to his surprise 
the skull came off from his foot healing his wound. He 
remained there for some time and obtained many divine 
attainments. From then onwards the place was called 
'Kapalamocana'. After this incident Brahma, Visvamitra, 
Balabhadiarama and many such divine persons visited 
the place. (Chapter 39, Salya Parva, M.B.) 

AUSlJA I. A King of ancient India. He equalled 
Indra. (Sloka 226, Chapter 1, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

AUSlJA II. An ancient sage. There is a reference to this 
sage who is the son of Angiras in Rgveda. This rsi was 
a brilliant member of the royal council of Dharma- 
putra. (Chapter 208, Sand Parva, M.B.) . 

AUSlNARA (AUSINARI). Sibi, son of the King of 
Usinara. See under Sibi. 

AUSlNARl (USINARA). A Sudra girl born in the 
country of Usinara. Gautama Muni got his sons 
Kaksivan and others of this girl. (Sloka 5, Chapter 21, 
Sabha Parva, M.B.). 

AUSI^lKA(M). An ancient place in India. The King 
of this country paid respects to Dharmaputra offering 
him several gifts. (Sloka 17, Chapter 51, Sabha Parva, 

AUTATHYA. Son of Utathya (See under Utathya) . 

AUVVAYAR. A celebrated Tamil poetess. She was born 
in a Paraya (lowest of the Hindu castes) family. Her 
mother left her as soon as she was delivered and a 
low caste Sudra brought her up. She lived for 240 years 
before she left on a long journey never to return. She 
wrote several books in Tamil. The important ones are 
Atticuti, Kontaiventa, Mutturai, Natvali, Katvali 
slukka, Nannutkova, Nantanikova, Aruntamilmala, 
Darsanappattu, and Jnanakurul. She has made a dictio- 
nary in verses also. 

AVABHRTHAM. The bath taken at the end of a sacri- 

"Then all the Ksatriya Kings approached Dharma- 
taniija (Dharmaputra) who had completed successfully, 
under the protection of the Mighty Lord of the bow, 
the cudgel and the wheel, the great sacrifice of the Raja- 




suya (imperial inauguration) and taken the avabhrta- 
snana (the bath at the end of the sacrifice) ." 
(Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter45, Stanzas 40, 41) . 

AVAClNA. The son born to Jayatsena, a King of the 
Piiru dynasty, by his wife Susrava the princess of 
Vidarhha. To him was born Ariha of Maryada the 
princess of Vidarbha. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 95, 
Stanzas 17 and 18). 

AVADHtfTESVARA. An incarnation of Siva. Once 
Indra and Brhaspati went to Kailasa to do homage to 
Siva who clad in air only hindered their way. Indra 
requested that person to get out of the way. He request- 
ed repeatedly several times but in vain. Indra who got 
angry took his weapon ofVajra. But Siva froze it. More- 
over fire emanated from his eye on the forehead. At the 
request of Bi'haspati Siva turned the fire from his eye 
towards Lavana Samudra (the sea of Salt). Jalandhara 
who was killed by Siva had his origin in this fire. 
(Siva Purana) . 

AVAGAHA. A warrior of the Vrsni dynasty. (Maha- 
bharata, Drona Parva, Chapter 1 1, Stanza 27) . 

AVAISAKHA.' (See Dhanasarma). 

AVAKlR^A(M) . A holy place on the bank of the river 
Sarasvatl. (M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 41). 

AVANTI. A country called Malava in ancient 
India. The famous Ujjayini was the capital of Avanti. 
This city is situated on the bank of Sipra. The renown- 
ed poets such as Kalidasa and others, lived in this 
city. This is one of the seven cities considered to be 
capable of giving Moksa (heavenly bliss). (M.B., 
Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 43). 

AVANTI VAMSA. (The Dynasty of Avanti). The 
dynasty of Avanti Kings had its origin in the Yadu 
dynasty. Candra was born to Atri the son of Brahma. 
Budha was born to Candra, Pururavas to Budha, Ayus 
to Pururavas, Nahusa to Ayus, Yayati to Nahusa and 
Yadu to Yayati. Yadu had five sons, the eldest of whom 
was known by the name Sahasrajit. The rest of them 
were known as Nllanjika, Raghu, Krosfu and Satajit. 
Sahasrajit had three sons called Satajit, Haihaya and 
Renuhaya. Dharmanetra was born to Haihaya, Sahana 
to Dharmanetra, Mahiman to Sahana, Bhadrasena to 
Mahiman, Durgama to Bhadrasena and Kanaka to 
Durgama. From Kanaka were born the four sons Krta- 
vlrya, Krtagni, Karaviraand Krtaujas. Arjuna(Kartta- 
vlryarjuna) was born as the son of Krtavlrya. 
Arjuna renowned as Karttavirya became the supreme 
lord of the earth comprising the Saptadvipa (Seven 
Islands) by the merits of his penance. He got invinci- 
bility and thousand hands in battles, as boons. He 
performed ten thousand sacrifices all in conformity 
with the rules and regulations. To escape from loss of 
wealth one had only to remember his name. It was 
ordered that Kings other than Karttavirya, however 
great the extent of their might and prowess, and the 
number of sacrifices, offering of alms and penance done 
be, would not stand on a par with him. 
Karttavirya had a hundred sons, of whom the most 
famous were Surasena, Sura, Dhrsta, Krsna, and Jaya- 
dhvaja. Jayadhvaja the most renowned of these five 
ruled in Avanti as King. Talajarigha who had several 
sons, was born from Jayadhvaja. 

*See Amsavatara. 

The family of the Haihayas was split into five. They 
were the Bhojas, the Avanti family, the Vltihotra fami- 
ly, the Svayarhjfita family and the Saundikeya family. 
(Agm Purana, Chapter 275) 

AVARODHA. A King of the family ofBharata. 

AVASANAM. An ancient Bath m Bharata. One could 
attain the merits of Sahasragodana (giving a thousand 
cows as alms) by bathing in this holy bath. (M.B., 
Vana Parva, Chapter 82, Stanza 128). 

AVATARA. (Incarnation) . The incarnations of Maha- 

1 ) General information. God takes three kinds of incar- 
nations such as avatara, aveSa and ariisa. That which 
has full power is avatara ; that which has power only 
for the time being is avesa and partial incarnation in 
amSavatara. * The incarnations of Visnu are count- 
less. Hermits, Manus, Devas (gods) and sons of Manus 
are incarnations in part (arhsavataras) of Visnu. Com- 
plete avataras are ten in numbers of which Balabhadra 
Rama is not considered as an avatara by some. In- 
stead of him they place Buddha. 

b) Reason for the incarnations. Mahavisnu has taken so 
many incarnations in the world. In the Sri Mahadevi 
Bhagavata a story occurs to the effect that Mahavisnu 
was forced to take so large a number of incarnations 
due to the curse of the great hermit Bhrgu. The story 
is as follows : KaSyapa had a son named Kasipu. He 
was daring and brave and ruled the country as an 
enemy of the Gods. There arose a severe battle between 
the gods and the Asuras. Kasipu was killed in that 
battle. After Kasipu his son Prahlada became King. 
He too was an enemy of the Gods. So there was a 
battle between Indra and Prahlada. The battle conti- 
nued for a hundred years. At last Prahlada was defeat- 
ed. He felt very sorry at the defeat. So he anointed 
Bali, son of Virocana, as King and leaving the Kingdom 
he went to the Gandhamadana and began to do 
penance. The fight continued between Bali and Indra. 
In this fight Mahavisnu helped Indra. The Asuras were 
completely destroyed. The defeated Asuras went to 
their teacher Sukra who promised to protect them by 
spells and incantations and herbs. The Gods knew 
that Sukra had undertaken to protect the asuras. 
Leaving the asuras behind, Sukra went to Kailasa to 
get more power of spells and incantations from Siva. 
Before going to Kailasa Sukra had asked the Asuras 
to wait for him with faith. After this the Asuras sent 
Prahlada to the Gods for a truce. Prahlada, though an 
Asura was in good favour with the Gods. He reached 
the court of Indra and said, "Gods, we have no desire 
at all for war. We have decided to spend the remain- 
ing period in penance wearing barks of trees and tufts 
of hair. How wicked a deed is battle and how delight- 
ful it is to become a devotee of God ! So hereafter you 
will not be troubled by us. Likewise I hope you will 
not do us innocent people any harm." 
The gods believed Prahlada. The Asuras, in the guise 
of hermits waited for Sukra in the hermitage of Kas- 
yapa. Sukra reached Kailasa and bowed before Siva and 
requested that he might be given the power of defeat- 
ing the Gods by some means quite unknown to Brhas- 
pati the teacher of the devas (Gods). Siva was in 




trouble. He could refuse neither Sukra nor the Gods. 
At last he told hermit Sukra that to come by such a 
spell he had to stand head downwards, inhaling smoke 
for a thousand years. Siva said so thinking that when 
the dreadful nature of the feat was considered, Sukra 
might desist from the attempt. But Sukra began that 
penance instantly. 

The Gods understood everything. The deceit of the 
Asuras, the crookedness of Sukra all were now clear to 
them.. They trembled with fear and began to consult 
how to get over the difficult situation. Finally they 
decided to go to war with the Asuras. The gods did 
accordingly. The Asuras were in trouble. They were 
not strong enough to face the Gods. So they all went 
to Kavyamata, the mother of Sukra. The devas (gods) 
with Mahavisnuat their head chased the Asuras. Kavya- 
mata, by the merits of her devotional meditation 
petrified Mahavisnu and Indra. Mahavisnu thought of 
his Sudarsana (wheel-weapon of Visnu) which instant- 
ly made its appearance and cut off the head of Kavya- 
mata. The great hermit Bhrgu got angry because Maha- 
visnu committed woman-slaughter, and cursed him thus : 
"You are a crooked being, a viper, a deceit. The 
hermits who adore you as the seat of all that is good 
are mere fools; you are wicked, of a black character, 
and I curse you to take countless incarnations in the 
world, and painful confinement by and by because of 
your sins." (Sri Mahadevi Bhagavata, 4th Skandha). 
Thus having cursed Visnu, the hermit Bhrgu took some 
water from his water-pot and sprinkled it on the face of 
Kavyamata, who woke up as if from sleep. (For the 
remaining portion of the story see Sukra). 
2) Dasavataras. (The ten Incarnations). Owing to the curse 
of Bhrgu, mentioned above, Mahavisnu had to under- 
take so many incarnations, complete as well as partial. 
Complete incarnations are ten in number. They are 
called Dasavataras (The Ten Incarnations) . 
Matsyah Kurmo Varahasca 
Narasirhhaica Vamanah / 
Ramo Rama sea Ramasca 
Krsnah Kalkir janardanah // 

Matsya'(Fish), Kurma (Turtle) , Varaha (Pig), Nara- 
sirhha (Lion-man), Vamana (Dwarf), Rama (Parasu- 
rama) , Rama (Sri Rama) , Rama (Balabhadrarama) , 
Krsna (Sii Krsna), Kalki (Yet to come) . These are 
the ten incarnations of Janardana. 
The dasavataras are described one by one below. 
1) Matsyavatara. (Fish Incarnation) . To KaSyapa, the 
son of Marici, and the grandson of Brahma a son 
was born, by his wife Aditi. He was called Vivasvan 
and the Manu who was the son of Vivasvan is known 
as Vaivasvata Manu or Satyavrata Manu. It was dur- 
ing the time of this Manu that Visnu incarnated as a 
Matsya (fish). 

Once, while Brahma was reciting the Vedas (the Scrip- 
tures) Hayagriva, an asura, stole the Vedas from the 
side of Brahma and with them he went under water to 
the bottom of the ocean and hid himself there. So 
Mahavisnu decided to take the form of a fish to recover 
the stolen Vedas. 

Vaivasvata Manu, the first and foremost of the godfear- 
ing, was once doing penance in a place known as Badari. 
He got down into the river Krtamala to take a bath. 
Then a small fish said to the Manu : "Oh King, I am 
afraid of large fishes. So please don't forsake me". Hear- 

ing this the Kind Manu took the fish in his hand and 
put it in an earthenware pot and brought it up. In a 
few days the fish began to grow. When the pot became 
insufficient the King put it in a larger pot. When that 
also became too small, the King put the fish in a pond. 
When the pond could not hold the fish any longer the 
King put it in the Ganges at its request. After a few days 
the Ganges also became too small for the fish. Finally 
the fish told the King: "Oh, King, within seven days 
there will be a great flood in the world. You should 
make a boat and take the seven hermit-sages with you 
in the boat and escape. I will help you." 
Hearing this he got an immensely large boat ready and 
obeyed the instructions of the fish. Within seven days 
rain started in torrents. Everything in the world, the 
moving and the not moving, were under the flood. A 
horn began to sprout from the head of the fish. Manu 
tied his boat on that horn. The fish reached the summit 
of the Himalayas with the boat, which was tied to the 
highest peak. Since the peak came to be called 'Nau- 
bandhana Srnga' (The peak to which boat is tied) . 
The rain ceased to pour. It was seen that everything 
in the world had been destroyed except the Manu and 
the seven hermit-sages and some of the germs, saved 
in the boat. (This story occurs in the great Hindi work 
'Kamayani' of JayaSankar Prasad). (M.B., Aranya 
Parva, Chapter 187; Agni Purana, Chapter 2; Bhagavata 
8th Skandha, Chapter 24) . 

This story of the incarnation of Visnu as fish is seen in 
the Bible figuratively. "In the order of the generations 
of Adam, the first creation of God, Seth, Enos; Kainan, 
Mahalil, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech and Noah 
were born. When Noah was five hundred years old he 
begot Shem, Ham and Japheth. 

There was a great flood during the time of Noah. God 
said to him : "The end of all flesh is come before one; 
for the earth is filled with violence through them, and 
behold, I will destroy them with the earth. Make thee 
an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the 
ark and shalt paint it within and without with pitch. 
And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of. The 
length of the ark should be three hundred cubits, the 
breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty 
cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark and in a 
cubit shall thou finish it above and the door of the ark 
shalt thou set in the side thereof, with lower, second and 
third stories shalt thou make it. And behold, I, even I, 
do bring a flood of water up on the earth, to destroy all 
flesh wherein is the breadth of life from under heaven 
and everything that is in the earth shall die. But with 
thee will I establish my covenant, and thou shalt come 
into the ark, thou and thy sons and thy wife and thy 
sons' wives with thee, and of every living thing of all 
flesh, two of every sort, shalt thou bring into the ark to 
keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and fe- 
male. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after 
their kind, and of every creeping thing of the earth 
after their kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee 
to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food 
that is eaten and thou shalt gather it to thee, and it 
shall be for food for thee and for them." Thus did Noah 
according to all that God commanded him, so did he. 
And the Lord said unto Noah, "Come thou and all thy 
house into the ark, for thee Have I seen righteous be- 
fore me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou 




shalt take to thee by sevens the male and his female 
and of beasts that are not clean by two the male and 
his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens the male 
and the female to keep seed alive up on the face oi all 
the earth. For yet seven days and I will cause it to rain 
up on the earth forty days and forty nights, and every 
living substance that I have made will I destroy from 
off the earth." And Noah did according unto all that 
the Lord commanded him. 

And Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of 
waters was up on the earth. And Noah went in, and 
his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him into 
the ark because of the waters of the flood. Of clean 
beasts and of beasts that are not clean and of fowls and 
of everything that creepeth upon the earth. There went 
in two and two unto Noah into the ark the male and 
the female as God had commanded Noah. And it came 
to pass after seven days that the waters of the flood were 
upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah's 
life in the second month on the seventeenth day of the 
month the same day were all the fountains of the 
great deep broken up and the windows of heaven were 
opened and the rain was up on the earth for forty 
days and forty nights. In the self-same day entered 
Noah and Shem, and Hani and japheth the sons of 
Noah and Noah's wife and the wives of the sons 
with them into the ark. They and every beast after 
his kind and all the cattle after their kind and 
every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth 
and every fowl after his earth after his kind, every 
bird of every sort. And they went in unto Noah 
into the ark. two and two of all flesh wherein is the 
breadth of life. And they that went in, went in male 
and female of all flesh as God had commanded him 
and the Lord shut him in. And the flood was forty days 
upon the earth, and the waters increased and bore up 
the ark and it was lifted up above the earth. And the 
waters prevailed and were increased greatly upon the 
earth and the ark went up on the face of the waters. 
And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth 
and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven 
were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters 
prevail and the mountains were covered. And all the 
flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl and 
of cattle and of beast and of every creeping thing that 
creepeth up on the earth, and every man. All in whose 
nostrils was the breadth of life, of all that was in the 
dry land, died- And every living substance was des- 
troyed which was up on the face of the ground both 
man and cattle and the creeping things and the fowl 
of the heaven, and they were destroyed from the earth. 
And Noah only remained alive, and they that were 
with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon 
the earth for hundred and fifty days. 
And God remembered Noah and every living thing 
and all the cattle that was with him in the ark and 
God made a wind to pass over the earth and the 
waters became calm. The fountains also of the deep 
and the windows of heaven were stopped and the rain 
from heaven was restrained. And the waters returned 
from off the earth continually and after the end of the 
hundred and fifty days, the waters were abated. And the 
ark rested in the seventh month on the seventeenth day 
of the month upon the mountains of Ararat. And the 
waters decreased continually until the tenth month. 

In the tenth month on the first day of the month 
were the tops of the mountains seen. And it came to 
pass at the end of forty days that Noah opened the 
window of the ark which he had made. And he sent 
forth a raven which went forth to and fro until the waters 
u vie dried up from oil the earth. Also he sent forth 
a dove from him to see if the waters were abated 
from off the face of the ground. But the dove found 
no rest for the sole of her foot and she returned 
unto him into the ark for the waters were on 
the face of the whole earth. Then Noah put forth 
his hand and took her and pulled her to the ark. And 
he stayed yet other seven days. And again he sent 
forth the dove out of the ark. And the dove came 
in to him in the evening, and lo, in her mouth 
was an olive leaf plucked off. So Noah knew that 
the waters were abated from off the earth. And he 
stayed yet other seven days and sent forth the dove, 
which returned not again unto him anymore. And it 
came to pass in the six hundredth and first year in the 
first month, the first day of the month the waters were 
dried up from off the earth and Noah removed the 
covering of the ark and looked and beheld the face of 
the ground was dry. And in the second month on the 
seven and twentieth day of the month was the earth 
dried. And God spake unto Noah saying: ''Go forth of 
the ark, thou and thy wife, and thy sons and thy sons' 
wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing 
that is with thee, of all flesh both of fowl and of cattle and 
of every creeping thing that creepeth up on the earth, 
that they may breed abundantly in the earth and be 
fruitful and multiply up on the earth. And Noah went 
forth and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives 
with him. Every beast, every creeping thing and every 
fowl and whatsoever creep up on the earth after their 
kinds went forth out of the ark. And Noah built an 
altar unto the Lord and took of every clean beast and 
of every clean fowl and offered burnt offerings on the 
altar. And the Lord smelt a sweet savour and the Lord 
said in his heart : "I will not again curse the ground 
anymore for man's sake. For the imagination of man's 
heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I again smite 
anymore every thing as I have done. While the earth 
remaineth seed time and harvest and cold and heat 
and summer and winter and day and nignt shall not 
cease. (Holy Bible, Genesis, Chapters 6, 7 and 8) . 
2 ) Kurmdvatdra. (Incarnation as a tortoise) . Long ago 
when Durvasas visited the realm of Gods he presented 
Devendra with a garland made of flowers of exquisite 
fragrance. Indra tied it on to the tusk of Airavata (the 
elephant of Indra) . When the beetles which gathered 
on the garland for honey became a nuisance, Aira- 
vata destroyed that garland. Durvasas who got angry 
at this cursed the gods as a whole that they would get 
wrinkles and grey hair. The gods were advised by 
Mahavisnu that if they got Ambrosia (Amna celestial 
honey) from the sea of Milk by churning it they could 
escape from this. Accordingly the Gods called the 
asuras for help, and they approached the sea of Milk. 
They made use of the Mountain of Mandara as churn- 
drill and the huge snake Vasuki as churning rope, and 
the churning commenced. The gods took hold of the 
tail of the snake and as the churning was proceeding 
the churn-drill, the mountain of Mandara, having no 
fixation at the bottom sank down. Then Mahavisnu 




took the form of a turtle, and got under the Mandara 
mountain and lifted it up on his back. By the force of 
lifting it went higher and higher up. Then Mahavisnu took 
theformof an eagle and sat on the top of the mountain 
and it came down a little and placed itself in the right 
position. (Bhagavata, Skandha 8, Chapter 7; Agni 
Purana, Chapter 3; Valmiki Ramayana, Balakanda, 
Sarga 45) . 

3) Vardhavatara. (Incarnation as a Pig) . Jayaand Vijaya 
were the two watchers who stood at the gate of Maha- 
visnu. Once the great hermit-sages Sanaka and others 
reached Vaikuntha to visit Mahavisnu. Then Jaya and 
Vijaya treated the hermits without respect. The hermits 
cursed them that they would become Danavas (Asuras 
or giants). They also said that when they were slain 
thrice by Mahavisnu they would reach heaven. At 
that period when hermit Kasyapa was carrying on 
his evening prayer and devotional rites, his wife Diti 
approached him with lustful desire. Kasyapa told her 
that as he was engaged in prayer and meditation it 
was not proper on her part to select that particular 
moment for her lustful desire. But she persisted and 
the sage yielded and out of that union two sons were 
born. They are the two asuras Hiranyaksa and Hiranya- 
kasipu. Of these Hiranyaksa was the incarnation of 
Jaya and Hiranyakasipu that of Vijaya.* With the 
birth of these two the whole world began to tremble. 
These two asura brothers began to terrorize the world. 
They wandered about causing destruction and devasta- 
tion wherever they went. Once Hiranyaksa got down 
into the ocean and began to beat the waves in the 
ocean with his cudgel. The ocean began to sway and 
surge. Varuna (the Lord of water) was terrified and 
he ran to Mahavisnu and sought protection. Maha- 
visnu took the form of a Pig and came to the ocean. 
When Hiranyaksa saw Mahavisnu he took the earth in 
his hand and ran to Patala (the nether world) . Maha- 
visnu followed him and killed him and recovered the 
earth. (Bhagavata, Skandha 3, Chapter 18; Bhagavata, 
Skandha 2, Chapter 7 and Agni Purana, Chapter 4) . 
4) Narasimhdvatara. (Incarnation as lion-man) . With the 
death of Hiranyaksa, his brother HiranyakaSipu became 
furious more than ever. He wanted to avenge the death 
of his brother. His fury was turned towards Mahavisnu. 
So he got on the top of the Mountain of Mandara and 
did penance before Brahma and Brahma appeared and 
granted him boons, one of which was that nobody but 
Visnu should be able to kill him. He returned with 
gladness and began to roam about torturing devotees 
of Visnu everywhere. 

A son named Prahlada was born to him. He was a god- 
fearing child and from birth an ardent believer in Visnu. 
Hiranyakasipu tried his utmost to change his son to a 
hater of Visnu. He got a special teacher for the 
purpose and Prahlada was taken to the house of the 
teacher to live with him until he changed his mind. The 
result was that the teacher and all others who advised 
him ultimately became believers in Visnu. Anger over- 
powered Hiranyakasipu. Prahlada was thrown before 
mad elephants. But the tusks of the elephant missed the 
aim and were driven into the earth and broken. Veno- 
mous snakes were employed and those which bit him had 
their fangs broken. Finally the child was put in blazing 

fire. But the child felt the fire to be cool and soothing. 
From that fire a ghost arose and tried to kill Prahlada. 
Instantly the Sudarsana, the wheel-weapon of Visnu 
came down and cut off the head of the ghost. Hiranya- 
kasipu jumped with anger and called out. "Where 
is your Visnu?" His son replied that his Visnu dwelt 
in every movable and immovable thing. Hiranyakasipu 
kicked at a stone pillar close by and asked him, "Is 
your Visnu in this pillar?" Prahlada replied, "My Visnu 
is in Pillar and in fibre". Before he had finished, the 
Pillar broke open and a monster as horrible as the 
Destroyer Siva, in the shape of a lion-man made its 

"Mimamsamanasya samuthito 'grato 
Nrsimharupastadalam bhayanakarh 
Karaladamstram Karavalacancala- 
Ksurantajihvam bhrukutimukholbanam 
Stabdhordhvakarnam girikandaradbhuta- 
vyattasyanasamhanubhedabhi sanarh 
CandrarhSugauraischuritarh tanuruhai- 
rvisvagbhujanikaSatarh nakhayudham." 
"Before him who was waiting with curiosity to see what 
would happen, with eyes blazing as molten gold, mouth 
wide open in the middle of long bushy mane, tusks 
long and curved and protruding fearfully, tongue sway- 
ing like a sword, eyebrows fierce looking, ears standing 
erect and still, two nostrils as wide and deep as moun- 
tain canyons, jaws prominent and thick and broad and 
set with fierceness, colossal body reaching the sky, neck 
very thick and fat and short, breast excessively broad 
and strong, waist very small and narrow, body thickly 
covered with bushy hair exuberantly grown and as 
yellow as the light of the moon, a number of claws very 
sharp and pointed, the horrid monster Narasirhha 
(Lion with human head) suddenly appeared. (Bhaga- 
vata, Skandha 7, Chapter 8, Stanzas 20-22). 
This was the figure of Narasirhha. Mr. S. Paramesvara 
Iyer, Ulloor, has described this figure in his "Bhakti- 
dipika" as follows : 

"Glaring eyes burning as blazing cinder, tongue as a 
dagger just used in piercing to death, neck with folds, 
eyebrows looking mad, tusks like young moon, fierce 
face with bushy mane grown to it, hair long and sharp 
like pointed wire, claws looking like having drunk blood, 
body shining as if countless suns had risen together, all 
combined as if the fire of anger burning inside had 
incarnated, in the shape of a lion up to neck and 
human shape beyond the neck." (Bhaktidtpika) 
The horrid monster caught hold of Hiranyakasipu the 
King of the Asuras, pushed him to the ground and 
opened his heart with its fierce claws. Blood sprouted 
like a spring. With great ferocity he pulled out the in- 
testines of Hiranyaka^ipu and wore them round his 
neck as a garland and roared loudly. Prahlada, with 
songs of praise and chanting of hymns of adoration 
pacified the stormy Narasirhha and bowed low down 
before him. The Narasirhha was pleased with the devo- 
tion of Prahlada. He blessed the child and then dis- 
appeared. (Bhagavata, Skandha 7, Chapter 8). 

"During their next birth they made their appearance as Ravnca and Kumbhakarna and during the third birth they were Sisupala and 




5) Vdmandvatdra. (Incarnation as a Dwarf). It was to ex- 
pel the Emperor Mahabali, that Mahavisnu incarnat- 
ed as a dwarf. To Kasyapa, the son of Marici and 
the grandson of Brahma, was born of Dili, Hiranya- 
kasipu. And from Prahlada the son of Hiranyakasipu 
was born Virocana and Bali was the son of Virocana. 
Bali got the name Mahabali because of his prowess. 
He was the emperor of the Asuras. A fierce battle 
began over the Ambrosia got from churning the sea 
of Milk, between the Asuras and the gods. In the battle 
Indra cut Mahabali down with his Vajrayudha. The 
Asuras took the body of Mahabali to Patala (the 
nether world) where their teacher Sukra brought him to 
life again. Then Mahabali worshipped the Bhargavas 
and became more powerful than before and went to 
heaven again and renewed the battle. This time he 
defeated the Gods altogether and subjugated the realm 
of the Gods who were scattered to all sides. The devas 
or gods are the sons of KaSyapa born by his wife, Aditi. 
She felt very sorry at the defeat of the gods. Seeing that 
she was silent and sad Kasyapa asked her the reason. 
She replied that she was thinking of ways to enable the 
gods to recover their lost power and position. Kasyapa 
advised her to please Mahavisnu by observing Dva- 
dall vrata ( fast of the twelfth lunar night) . Aditi did 
so and Visnu appeared before her and asked her what 
she desired. Her request was that Visnu should take 
birth in her womb and recover Indra to his lost power 
and position. Thus Visnu took birth as the younger 
brother of Indra in the shape of Vamana (dwarf.) 
At this time Emperor Mahabali was celebrating a sacri- 
fice on the bank of the River Narmada after having 
subjugated the whole of the world. A large number of 
hermits gathered there. Vamana also was among them. 
He requested Mahabali to grant him three feet of 
ground as alms. The teacher Sukra warned Mahabali 
against granting the request. But the emperor granted 
the request and asked Vamana to measure the ground. 
Vamana immediately enlarged his body and measured 
the heaven, the earth and the Patala ( the upper realm 
the earth and the lower realm ) in two steps and asked 
for place for the third step. The honest Mahabali 
showed his head and requested to complete the three 
steps. Vamana put his step on the head of Mahabali and 
pushed him down to Patala. Thus the gods regained 
their lost places. (Bhagavata, Skandha 8, Chapter 19). 
A description that by the toe of Vamanas' raised foot 
(raised for measuring the third step) the testicle of 
Brahma was cut open where from the Ganges originated, 
is seen in the Bhagavata, Skandha 5. 
When ViSvamitra took Rama and Laksmana to the 
forest they entered a holy hermitage and ViSvamitra 
told the boys that it was the hermitage where Aditi 
long ago had observed dvadaslfast. It was in that same 
place that Vamana incarnated and placed his step on 
the head of Mahabali. 

"The bright Madhava took birth in Aditi as Vamana 
and went to Mahabali, requested for three feet of ground 
and brought under control the three worlds for the good 
of all. By binding Bali by might, he gave to Indra the 
three worlds and this hermitage is the place where He 
once placed his steps. I am a devotee of that Vamana." 
(Valmlki Ramayana, Bala Kanda, Sarga 29) . 
. 6) ParaSurdmdvatdra. (Incarnation as Parasurama) . Once 
Karttavlryarjuna pleased the hermit-sage Dattatreya 

the son of Atri, by doing penance and got the boon of 
one thousand hands. One day he went to the forest for 
hunting and entered the bank of Narmada. The hermit 
Jamadagni had been living there with his wife Renuka 
and sons ParaSurama and others. The King being tired 
of hunting got into the hermitage. Parasurama was not 
there. The hermit called his divine cow Kamadhenu, 
which provided the King and his followers with a very 
good supper. 

When the King departed he asked for the wonderful 
cow. The hermit did not consent. The King caught 
hold of the cow by force and went to his city. ParaSu- 
rama went to Mahismatinagar the capital of Kartta- 
vlryarjuna, killed the King and took Kamadhenu back. 
From that day onwards the sons of Karttavirya were 
waiting for an opportunity to take revenge. 
Once Renuka went to the river to bring water. A gan- 
dharva (semi god) named Citraratha was bathing in 
the river. She happened to look at him fora little while. 
When she returned the hermit was very angry and asked 
each of his sons to cut off the head of their mother. They 
all refused. But ParaSurama immediately obeyed his 
father and cut off her head. His father was pleased and 
said that he might ask any boon. He requested his father 
to bring his mother back to life. Accordingly Renuka 
was brought back to life. 

Once the sons of Karttavirya got into the hermitage, 
at a time when Parasurama was away and cut off the 
head of the hermit Jamadagni and took it off. When he 
returned his mother told him how his father was killed. 
She cried and beat her breast twentyone times. ParaSu- 
rama became an incarnation of revenge, and travelled 
over the world twentyone times and killed every Ksat- 
riyaKing. The blood of all those Kings flowed into one 
channel and gathered in a holy Bath called Syamanta- 
pancakam. Thus Mahavisnu took his sixth incarna- 
tion as Parasurama and fulfilled his duty of destroying 
the wicked Ksatriya Kings (For details about Parasu- 
rama see under ParaSurama and Karttavlryarjuna). 
(Bhagavata, Skandha 9, Chapter 16). 

7) Sri Rdmdvatdra. Mahavisnu took the incarnation of 
Sri Rama to kill Ravana. (For further information see 
the words Sri Rama and Ravana) . 

8) Balabhadrardmdvatdra. (The incarnation of Bala- 
bhadrarama) (See the word Balabhadrarama). 

9) Sri Krsndvatdra. (The incarnation of Sri Krsna) (See 
the word Krsna). 

10) Kalkyavatdra (The incarnation as Kalki). At the end 
of Kaliyuga (the Age of Kali) all the people would 
become atheists and sceptics. Rewards will be received 
from the depraved. The classes will be mixed. People 
would become degenerate having no good qualities. A 
religion called 'Vajasaneyam' with its fifteen doctrines 
only will be acceptable. People would become irrespon- 
sible wearing the garment of duty. Lawless people 
would take the form of Kings and will begin to eat 
men. In those days Lord Visnu will incarnate as Kalki, 
the son ofVisnuyasas and the priest of Yajnavalkya and 
learn the arts of wielding weapon and handling missiles 
and destroy all lawless ones. The subjects will be 
brought back to the four classes and the four agramas 
or stages of life and the doctrines and directions of the 
long-established religion and peace and order will be 



restored. Then the Lord will cast away the form of 
Kalki and go to heaven. After that, as of old, Krtayuga 
(the first age) will begin class distinctions and the four 
stages of life and such other establishments will once 
more prevail. (Agni Purana, Chapter 16). 

3) The Incarnations of Mahdvifnu. 

It is mentioned in Sri MahadevI Bhagavata, Skandha 1, 
Chapter 3 that Mahavisnu had taken the twentysix 
incarnations given below : 

1) Sanaka 2) Sananda 3) Sanatana 4) Sanatkumara 
5) Varaha (pig) 6) Narada 7) Nara Narayanas 8) 
Kapila 9) Dattatreya 10) Yajna 11) Rsabha 12) Prthu 
13) Matsya (fish) 14) Mohini 15)'Kurma (turtle) 
16) Garuda (eagle) 17) Dhanvantari 18) Narasimha 
(Lion-man) 19) Vaniana (dwarf) 20) Parasurama 
21) Vyasa 22) Sri Rama 23) Balabhadrarama 24) 
Sri Krsna 25) Buddha 26) Kalki. (Information about 
Matsya, Kurma, Varaha, Narasirhha, Vamana and 
Parasurama, are given under the word Avatara and 
for the rest see the same words) . 

In the first Skandha of "Bhagavata Kilippattu" the 
incarnations are exhaustively dealt with as follows : 
''And after that to make it possible for the Lord with 
four faces to rule his subjects justly and well. He took 
various incarnations with his portions, the first four of 
which are four persons, Sanaka, Sananda, Sanatana and 
Sanatkumara, in the order given, four or five-year old 
children, well-versed in the fourVedas, the four always 
inseparable wandered everywhere come to the world 
to show the merits of Brahmacarya (the vow of celi- 
bacy) . To kill Hiranyaksa and to lift up the earth He 
took the form of Sukara ( Pig) . To show the world the 
tattva (essence) of Sat (good) and tama (darkness) 
He took the form of hermit Narada. To show the merits 
of penance He became Nara and Narayana. To impart 
to the world the meaning of Sarhkhya Yoga (Indian 
Philosophy dealing with evolution and union with the 
Supreme Spirit) He came as Kapila the learned. To 
teach the world the laws of chastisement He was 
born as Datta of the wife of Atri. Then He came as 
Yajna to become Indra. The next incarnation He took 
was Rsabha, the noble King. To shorten and flatten 
the earth He came as Prthu. To recover the Vedas he 
took the form of Matsya ( fish) . To remove wrinkles and 
grey hair the gods had churned the sea of Milk and 
then to lift the mount Mandara He went under it and 
as a bird He got up on it. To give the world Ayurveda 
( the scripture of medicine ) He came as Dhanvantari. 
To entice Asuras and to recover Ambrosia from them 
He took the form of Mohini. To save the devoted 
Prahlada and to slay his father He came in the form of 
Narasirhha. Then as Vamana the younger brother of 
Indra to d.-ceive Mahabali and to recover the lost worlds 
for the gods he came. To destroy the Kings who were 
haters of Brahmins He came as the son of Jama- 
dagni. Then he took the incarnation of Veda Vyasa. 
And to slay the giant Ravana He became Sri Rama. 
Next we see Him as Balabhadrarama. Then He came 
as Devaklsuta [son of DevakI (Kfsna)]. Next He came 
in the Kaliyuga as Sri Buddha and at the end of Kali- 
yuga He will come as Kalki. And there are many in- 
carnations still to speak of." 

AVlCI. One of the twentyeight hells. The following 
are the twentyeight hells : 

(1) Raurava (2) Sukara (3) Rodha (4) Tala (5) Visa- 
sana (6) Mahajvala (7) Taptakumbha (8) Lavana 
(9) Vilohita (10) Rudhirambhas (11) Vaitarani 
(12) Krmlsa (13) Krtnibhojana (14) Asipatravana 
(15) Krsna (16) Lalabhaksa (17) Daruna (18) Puya- 
vaha (19) Papa (20) Vahnijvala (21) Adhass"iras 
(22) Sandamsa (23) Kalasutra (24) Tamas (25) Avici 
(26) Svabhojana (27) Apratistha (28) Apraci. (Visnu 
Purana, ArriSa 2, Chapter 6). 

The hell called Avici is described thus : "This is the 
hell meant for those who stand false witness, who take 
false oath and false name. The soldiers of Yama will 
push these false people into the hell of Avici, from the 
top of a mount which is a hundred yojanas (league) high. 
The place of Avici, like the waves of the ocean, is swell- 
ing and falling and swaying and surging always. When 
sinners fall there their bodies will be crumbled to pieces. 
Their life will enter into new bodies and then the punish- 
ment will be repeated again and again." (Devi Bhaga- 
vata, Skandha 8). 

AVIJNATAGATI. Two sons were born to Anila, a vasu 
by his wife Siva. They were called Avijnatagati and 
Manojava. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 66, Stanza 25 ) . 

AVIKAMPANA. This ancient King got from the her- 
mit Jyestha Satvatadharma (righteousness). (M.B., 
Santi Parva, Chapter 384, Stanza 47). 

AVIKSIT I. A famous King. The son of Karandhama 
and father of Marutta. He was honoured even by 
Brhaspati, having performed a hundred horse sacrifices. 
Mention is made in the Markandeya Purana that Aviksit 
had seven wives : Vara, Gaurl, Subhadra, Lilavatl, 
Vibha, MangavatI, and Kumudvatl. Besides them Vai- 
s'a.linl the princess of ViSala also was his wife. He had 
taken this Vaisalini from her Svayamvara dais (the 
bride herself selecting a husband from those who are 
present), defeating the Kings who were present 
there. Those defeated Kings, later, joined together and 
defeated Aviksit and took him a prisoner. Finally Kara- 
ndhama rescued him. His greatness is described as 
follows : 

"The righteous man Aviksit is equal to India in pro- 
wess. This austere and righteous man has become a 
great sacrificer. In brightness he is equal to the 
Sun, as forgiving as the earth, in intelligence equal 
to Brhaspati and as firm as the Himalayas. By his 
thought, word, and deed and self control and noble 
actions he kept his subjects in peace and prosperity." 
(Bhasa Bharata, Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 4, Stanzas 

AVIKSIT II. Five sons were born to King Kuru by his 
wife Vahinl. Aviksit was one of thtm. [See the word 
Vamsavall (Genealogy)]. 

AVIMUKTA (M) . The middle part of the city of Kasl. 
There is a holy temple here. It is said that those who 
commit suicide in this temple would attain heaven. 
(Vana Parva, Chapter 64, Stanzas 78 and 79). For 
more information see the word Divodasa. 

AVINDHYA. A giant in whom Ravana had confidence. 
But he held the opinion that Slta should be returned 
to Rama. 

"The aged giant and noble leader Avindhya, who had 
earned the confidence of Ravana, brave, learned and of 
good qualities, pleaded with Ravana and said that 
Rama would exterminate the entire race of the giants, 




but the wicked Ravana would not pay heed to his 

(Sri ValmTki Ramayana, Sundara Kanda, Sarga 37, 
Stanzas 12 and 13). This aged giant had sent Trijata 
to the Asoka park to console Sita. Hear what she says: 
"The famous giant leader, the noble aged well-wisher 
of Rama, Avindhya, had told me about you." 
" (M.B., Aranya Parva, Stanza 56). There is a situa- 
tion in Vana Parva when this noble giant prevented 
Ravana from his attempt to kill Sita. 
"When he saw the decision of Ravana to kill Sita, 
Avandhya pacified Ravana" and said, "you, a great King 
of a great kingdom should not deteriorate to the level 
of killing a woman. A woman who is in prison and at 
your disposal is as good as dead. But in my opinion, even 
if you cut her body into pieces she would not die and 
if she must die you will have to kill her husband." 
(M.B., Aranya Parva, Chapter 289, Stanzas 28 to 30) . 
From this statement the wonderful intelligence of 
Avindhya could be understood. It is seen in stanzas 6 
and 7 of Chapter 291 of M.B., Vana Parva that it was 
Avindhya who had taken Sita before Sri Rama when 
he had captured Lanka. 

AVIRATHA. A hermit of the family of Kardama. 

Genealogy. Brahma-Kardama-Kapila -Grtsapati - Brah- 

AVIVAHITA. (Spinster). In the Mahabharata a 
statement regarding spinsters and widows is seen. 
"Place meat on the ground and many birds will come 
to it. So also men will gather round the woman who 
is having no husband." (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 158, 
Stanza 12). 

AVYAYA. A serpent of the Dhrtarastra family. This 
serpent fell in the sacrificial fire meant for serpents, 
prepared by Janamejaya. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 
57, Stanza 16). 

AYASSA&KU. A great Asura. He was born as a Prince 
of the Kekaya kingdom. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 67, 
Verse 10). 

AYASSlRAS. A son of Kasyapa by his wife, Danu. 
(M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 65, Verse 23) . He was born 
a prince of Kekaya. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 67, 
Verse 10). 

AYATAYAMA(S). See Guruparampara. 

AY ATI. Son of King Nahusa and brother of Yayati. 
(M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 75, Verse 30) . 

AYAVAHA(M). A place in ancient India. (M.B., 
Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 5) . 

AYOBAHU (AYOBHUJA). A son of Dhrtarastra. (M.B. : 
Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 98) . Bhlmasena killed 
him at Kuruksetra. (MB., Drona Parva, Chapter 157, 
Verse 19). 

AYODHADHAUMYA (Ayodhadhaumya). Apoda- 
dhaumya, Apodadhaumya, Dhaumya. A great Muni 
(sage). He had three disciples, Aruni, Upamanyu and 

1) Disciple Aruni. He belonged to Pancala, and once his 
guru deputed him to construct embankments in the 
field. But, his attempts to construct embankments 
did not succeed. Finally he lay himself in the field 
where the embankment was required, and then the 
flow of water stopped. The guru enquired about Aruni, 
who was thus lying in the field. Then only he knew 
the reason for Aruni's absence. The guru went to the 
field and called Aruni. Then the embankment burst 

open and Aruni came out, and because of that Aruni 
got the name Uddalaka. (M.B., Chapter 3, Verses 

2) Disciple Upamanyu. Once Dhaumya (the guru) asked 
his second disciple Upamanyu to tend the cows. He 
used to take care of the animals grazing in the woods 
during daytime and return home at dusk and prostrate 
before the guru. Looking at the plump and healthy 
body of Upamanyu the guru asked him how he was 
feeding himself. His reply was that he was begging 
alms and feeding himself with what he got thus. Then 
the guru asked him to hand over to him (guru) all 
alms got in future. After that he used to give everything 
he got byway of alms to the guru. And, he continued 
returning to the Gurukula at dusk and prostrating be- 
fore the guru. Finding Upamanyu even then as plump 
and healthy as he was formerly, the guru said : My 
son Upamanyu, you hand over to me all the alms you 
get, and yet your body looks as trim as of old. How 
happens it so ?" Upamanyu replied : "After giving the 
alms I get first to you, my guru, I do again beg for 
alms and feed myself". To this the guru reacted thus: 
My boy, what you do is not the proper thing. By the 
second course of alms-taking you stand in the way of 
other people getting their food. It is gross injustice to 
do so." 

Upamanyu, from that day onwards strictly followed 
his guru's instruction, and continued returning at dusk 
to the guru and doing obeisance to him. 
Even then finding Upamanyu to be quite plump and 
healthy the guru told him : "Well, now you hand over 
to me all the alms you get, and you do not take alms 
a second time the same day. Yet you are quite fit and 
fat. How is it so ?" 

To this Upamanyu's reply was that he was feeding him- 
self on the milk of the cows he tended. The guru told 
him that this too was not just and proper on his part. 
The guru had not permitted him to drink milk thus. 
Upamanyu agreed to obey his orders. And, as usual he 
continued tending the cows and returning at dusk. Even 
then he maintained the same plump and healthy phy- 
sique. And the Guru told him as follows : "You do not 
eat the food you get at the first alms- taking, you do not 
go in for alms a second time the same day, nor do you 
drink milk. Yet, how is it that you maintain the same 
fat and healthy physique as in former days ?" 
Upamanyu's reply was that he was feeding now-a-days 
on the foam of milk bristling at the mouth of the 
calves when they had fed on their mother's milk. And, 
the guru said : "if that is so the calves will be, out of 
kindness and sympathy for you, releasing much foam 
of milk out of their mouths. That will affect them. So, 
do not repeat the process. Since the guru forbade him 
to have food in any manner as detailed above, Upa- 
manyu, while tending the herd of cows in the forest, ate 
the bitter and poisonous leaves of a tree one day to 
satisfy his burning hunger. The leaf was bitter in taste 
and injurious in its properties. Therefore, this new way 
of satisfying hunger affected the health of the eyes of 
Upamanyu and he became blind. Moving about in this 
condition he fell into a neglected well in the woods. 
When, even after the sun had set, Upamanyu did not, 
as usual, return, the guru enquired about him from 
other disciples. Naturally, they told the guru that 
Upamanyu was out in the forest with the cows. As the 




guru felt that Upamanyu was staying away late in the 
forest since he had been prevented from doing every- 
thing he (guru) went to the forest accompanied by 
other disciples and called out for Upamanyu, and 
Upamanyu responded from deep down the well. He 
also told the guru how he happened to fall into the well. 
After telling him that if only he would pray to the 
Asvinldevas they will cure his blindness the guru return- 
ed to the Asrama with other disciples. Upamanyu, 
accordingly offered praises and prayed to the Asvinl- 
devas, who were so pleased with him that they appeared 
before him and gave him a bread. Upamanyu refused 
to eat the bread without giving it to the guru. Then 
the Asvinldevas told him thus: "In the past when we 
gave your guru a bread like this he ate the same with- 
out giving it to his guru. You may just imitate him 
and eat the bread yourself". Even then Upamanyu did 
not eat the bread. The Asvinldevas were so much 
pleased at this that they blessed Upamanyu thus : "The 
teeth of your guru will turn into hard iron and yours 
into pure gold. Your blindness will be cured and all 
happiness and prosperity will be yours." 
The blessings of the Asvinldevas took full effect, and 
Upamanyu hurried to his guru and prostrated at his 
feet. Dhaumya and the other disciples of his congratu- 
lated Upamanyu. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 3, Verses 

3) Disciple, Veda. Ayodhadhaumya one day said to 
Veda, his third disciple: "You stay with me for some- 
time serving me. That will bring you all prosperity in 
life." Veda agreed, and stayed for a long time in the 
AsVama in the service of the guru. Without even the 
slightest murmur he put up with every discomfort and 
hardship, be it acute hunger and thirst or extreme 
cold or heat, and gladly performed all the work and 
duties the master imposed on him. The guru was ab- 
solutely pleased and his blessings resulted in all pros- 
perity and omnipotence for the disciple. (M.B., Adi 
Parva, Chapter 3, Verses 78-80) . 

AYODHYA. A city in North India which enjoyed great 
importance and reputation for many years as the capi- 
tal of the Kings of the solar dynasty. ( See Iksvaku 
dynasty). All the Kings of this dynasty ruled the coun- 
try from this city as their capital. Vasistha, the great 
preceptor of the Iksvaku Rajas, came to Ayodhya dur- 
ing the period of the reign of Kalmasapada, who was 
the thirtyfifth ruler in succession to Iksvaku. A quarrel 
broke out between Kalmasapada and Vasistha during 
a hunting expedition, and Vasistha cursed the King 
and as the result the latter became a Raksasa. After 
regaining his former form as King, he apologised to 
Vasistha and they became friends again. At the requ- 
est of the King in the interests of his dynasty Vasistha 
came to Ayodhya, and the people were greatly elated. 
A son was born to Vasistha by Kalmasapada's wife and 
that son was Asmaka. After that Vasistha used to go to 
Ayodhya frequently and was installed as family precep- 
tor of the Iksvakus. Till the time of Sri Rama the city 
of Ayodhya maintained its pomp and glory, and after 
that gradually its decay and fall set in. Laudatory refe- 
rences to the city are found in most of the Puranas 
like the Mahabharata, Brahmanda Purana etc. (See 

AYOMUKHl. A Raksasa woman. She met Sri Rama 
and Laksmana on their way to Matamgasrama in 

search of Slta, and requested Laksmana to marry her. 
Laksmana, as in the case of Surpanakha cut off her 
nose and breasts and drove her away. (Valmlki Rama- 
yana, Aranya Kanda, Chapter 69). 

AYUTANAYI. A king of the 1'uru Vamsa; he was the 
son of Maharaja Bhauma. Suyajna, Kama and Akro- 
dha were the names respectively of his mother, wife 
and son. He came to be known as Ayutanfiyi because 
of his having performed 10,000 Purusamcdhas. (M.B., 
Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Verses 19-20) 

AYUTAYU. A king who ruled his state for 1000 years. 
The Puranas like Bhagavata, the Matsya and the Vayu 
refer to him as the son of Srutasravas. 

AYUTAYUS. Father of King Rtuparna. (Bhagavata, 
Navama Skandha) . For genealogy see Iksvaku dynasty. 

A. (sfj) This word means Brahma and also anadara- 
vakya (a word showing disrespect). In the indeclinable 
form it means limit, anger and pain. 


A few details: 1) A low-caste people. People living in 
the estuary of the rivers of Sindhu and Sarasvati were 
generally called Abhiras. In the Sabha Parva of Maha- 
bharata we find Nakula defeating these people during 
his victory march after the great Mahabharata battle. 

2) Once Abhiras went to Dharmaputra with many 
gifts. (Slokas 11-13. Chapter 51, Sabha Parva, M.B.). 

3) Once it was prophesied by Markandeya Rsi, that 
low-caste people like Abhiras and Sakas would become 
rulers of states in different parts of Bharata during 
Kaliyuga. (Slokas 35-36, Chapter 188, Vana Parva, 

4) In the Garudavyiiha (Battle array named after 
Garuda) which Drona created during the Kuruksetra 
battle he included Abhiras also. (Sloka 6, Chapter 20, 
Drona Parva, M.B.). 

5) Because of the hatred of Siidras and Abhiras a sac- 
red lake named Vinasana disappeared from the river, 
Sarasvati. (Slokas 1 and 2, Chapter 37, Salya Parva, 

6) Abhiras were Ksatriyas formerly. Afraid of Parasu- 
rama they fled and lived in mountain-caves not conti- 
nuing their hereditary work and thus became Sudras. 
(Sloka 16, Chapter 29, Asvamedhika Parva, M.B.) . 

7) When Dvaraka was destroyed by floods and all the 
Yadavas were killed Arjuna went north taking along with 
him the wives of Sri Krsna. At that time Abhiras were 
among those who attacked and carried away the 
women. (Slokas 47-63, Chapter 7, Mausalya Parva, 


ACAMANA. First drink water three times accompanied 
by incantations and then with water wipe your face 
twice and your eyes, ears, nose, shoulders, breast and 
head once. This act is called Acamana. 

"Triracamedapah purvarii 

Dvih pramrjyattato mukharh 

Khani caiva spi'sedadbhir 

Atmanam sira eva ca" 

(Manusmrti, Sloka 60, Chapter 2). 
Devi Bhagavata in its eleventh Skandha says about 
Acamana like this : "Drinking water by your right hand 
is called acamana. Curve your palm into the shape of 
a spoon, hold water in it and drink. There must be 
enough water in the palm to cover a green-gram seed, 
not less nor more. If it falls short or exceeds the mea- 
sure it is considered to be like drinking alcohol. While 




shaping your palm neither your little finger nor your 
thumb should touch the other fingers. At the time of 
acamana you should support your right hand by your 
lelt hand. Otherwise the water will turn impure." 
ACARAMARYADAS. Sec under Pujavidhi. 
ADAMBARA. One of the five Parsadas whom Brahma 
gave to Skandadeva. Brahma gave Kunda, Kusuma, 
Kumuda, Damba and Adambara. 

ADI. A mighty son of the demon, Andhakiisura. He did 
penance to please Brahma and obtained from him a 
boon to seek vengeance on Siva who had murdered his 
father. The boon was that Adi would die only when he 
left his present form and took another form. After 
obtaining the boon Adi went to Kailasa and outwitting 
the sentries entered the abode of Siva in the shape of a 
serpent. After that he disguised himself as ParvatI and 
went near Siva. But Siva knew the trick and killed him. 
( Srsti Khanda of Padma Purana) . 

AplBAKA. A combat without serving any useful pur- 
pose and conducted out of sheer spite between two 
people to the surprise of others. The fight between 
Vasisfha and Visvamitra was of this kind. (Skandha 6 
of Devi Bhagavata). 

ADIGADADHARA. It was with the bones of an asura 

(demon) named Gada that Mahavisnu made the first 

gada (mace) . By that mace Visnu killed Heti and other 

asuras of that lot and got the name Adigadadhara (He 

who first handled the mace). (See under Gada). 

ADIKtJRMA. The mountain of Mandara which was 

used as a churn-stick to churn the great milky ocean, 

Kslrabdhi went down the ocean. Then Mahavisnu 

took the shape of a tortoise to lift it up and this first 

tortoise was called Adikurma. (Sloka 12, Chapter 18, 

Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

ADIPARVA. One of the parvans of the epic Mahabharata. 

It is the first parva. (See under Bharata). 
ADIPARVATA. The place of abode of Siva in the 
Himalayas. (Sloka 22, Chapter 327, Santi Parva, M.B.). 
ADIRAJA. The son of Kuru who was a king of the 

Puru dynasty. (See under Puru). 

ADlSlSlRA. One of the disciples of Sakalya. Vyasa , 
made the Vedas and taught his son Sakalya a portion 
of it. Sakalya divided his portion into five different 
and equal divisions and taught each of his five disciples, 
Vatsyayana, Maudgalya, Sali, AdisiSira and Gokhali a 
division. (Skandha 12, Bhagavata). 

ADISTI. The disciple who was ordained by his precep- 
tor to observe celibacy for a stipulated number of years. 
ADITYA. The twelve sons born to the sage Kasyapa of 
his wife Aditi are known as the twelve Adityas. They 
are the following : Dhata, Mitra, Aryama, Rudra, 
Varuna, Surya, Bhaga, Vivasvan, Pusa, Savita, Tvasta 
and Visnu. Besides these Aditi had twentyone children 
including Indra. All of them are called Adityas mean- 
ing children of Aditi. From the thirtythree sons of Aditi 
were born the thirtythree crores of devatas. Of these 
the eldest is Indra and the youngest, Vamana. (Sloka 
36, Chapter 66, Adi Parva, M.B.). (There is corrobora- 
tion for this in Sloka 14, Sarga 14, Aranya Kanda, 
Valmlki Ramayana) . 

Sirdar K.M. Panikar in his preface to the book "Rgveda- 
samhita" writes thus about Adityas : ''Generally we 
think of Surya (the Sun) when we hear the word 
Aditya. But there are many different Adityas in Rg- 
veda, chief of them is Varuna. Though Savita, Pusa 

and Mitra are all synonyms of Surya in Rgveda they 
are all separate dcvas. There is no end to the varieties 
of Adityas and their prominence in the Vedas. Sum- 
marising we can say thus. The familiar devas like 
Indra, Agni, Varuna and Surya are not found in the 
same form or power as we are taught to believe. Those 
whom we have lowered down to the posts of the eight 
sentries of the universe are very prominent devatas in 
the Vedas. Many Adityas have merged in Surya and 
winds in the god of Vuyu. Rudra has merged in Siva. 
Who will believe that the all-powerful Deva of the Rg- 
veda and the vainglorious Indra who lives in fear of 
men doing penance are one and the same person ?" 
ADITYAHRDAYA. A mantra (incantation) of great 
power to destroy all enemies. During the combat with 
Ravana at one time Rama fell exhausted in the battle- 
field. Seeing this the sage Agastya rushed to him and 
taught him this mantra. (Sarga 107, Yuddha Kanda, 
Valmlki Ramayana). 

ADITYAKETU. One of the sons of Dhrtarastra. Bhlma 
sena killed him in the great battle of Kuruksetra. 
(Sloka 102, Chapter 67, Adi Parva and Sloka 28, Chap- 
ter 88, Bhlsma Parva, M.B.). 

ADITYASENA. A very brave King. Stories about this 
King are found in Kathasaritsagara. (Taraiiga 4, Katha- 
pithalambaka) . 

ADITYATlRTHA. An ancient holy place on the banks 
of the river, Sarasvati. (Sloka 17, Chapter 99, Salya 
Parva, M.B.) . 

ADITYAVAR&A. A king who always ordered without 
thinking and repented later. The book Kathasaritsagara 
tells the story of this King in the fifth taraiiga of its 
part, Kathapithalambaka. 

ADYAKATHA. A sage of old. He attended the sacrifice 
conducted by the King Uparicara. (Sloka 9, Chapter 
336, Santi Parva, M,B.). 

AGNEYAPURANA. See under Agnipurana, 
AGNEYASTRA. A powerful weapon or missile- One 
night Arjuna fought against agandharva, Arigaraparna, 
on the banks of the river Ganges. Arjuna then described 
to him how he came into possession of this missile. This 
powerful missile was given first to Bharadvaja by Briias- 
pati and Bharadvaja gave it to Agnivesya who in turn 
gave it to Drona and the latter gave it to Arjuna, his 
most favourite disciple. (Slokas 29-30, Chapter 170, Adi 
Parva, M.B.) . 

AGNEYl. Wife of Kuru, son of Manu. Sambhu wife of 
Dhruva gave birth to two sons, Sisti and Bhavya. 
Succhaya wife of Sisti gave birth to five sinless sons 
Ripu, Ripumjaya, Vipra, Vi'kala and Vrkatejas. Cak- 
susawas born of Brhati, wife of Ripu. Manu was born 
to Caksusa of his wife Puskarim, daughter of the great 
Viranaprajapati. Puskarim hailed from the dynasty of 
Marutta. To Manu were born of Nadvala ten sons, 
Kuru, Puru, Satadyumna, Tapasvi, Satyavan, Suci, 
Agnistoma, Atiratra, Sudyumna, and Abhimanyu. Of 
these, Kuru got of his wife Agneyl six sons: Aiiga, 
Sumanas, Khyati, Kratu, Angiras and Sibi. Vena was 
born to Anga of his wife Sunltha. (Chapter 13, AmSam 
1, Visnu Puiana). 
AGNlDHRA. See Agnidadhra. 

AGNIVESYA (AGNI VESA) . An ancient sage who received 
an armour and the sacred mantras associated with it 
from Brhaspati. He was the Acarya of Dhanurveda and 




the revered preceptor of Drona. (Slokas 67 and 68, 
Chapter 94, Drona Parva, M.B.) . 
AGRAYAI^A. The fourth son of the Agni, Bhanu. 

(Sloka 13, Chapter 221, Vana Parva, M.B.). 
AGREYA. A country conquered by Kama. (Slokas 19- 

21, Chapter 254, Vana Parva, M.B.). 
AHAVANlYA. An agni. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 

74, Verse 67). 

AHUKA. A king of Yadu Vamsa. He was the father of 
Ugrasena, the father of Kariisa. (Some Puranas say 
that Ahuka and Ugrasena were the names of the same 
person). For genealogy, see "YADU VAMSA". InM.B., 
Sabha Parva, Chapter 14, Verse 33, we find that 
Akrura had married Sutanu, the daughter of Ahuka. 
Ahuka had a hundred sons. (M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 
14, Verse 56). There were constant quarrels between 
Ahuka and Akrura. (M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 81, 
Verses 8-11). 

AHUTI. A Ksatriya King. Sri Krsna defeated this King 
in the city called Jaruthi. (M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 
12, Verse 30). 

AjAGARA. An ascetic. Sand Parva of Mahabharata in 
its 1 79th Chapter states that Prahlada conversed with 
this sage. 
AJAGARA PARVA. A sub-division of the Vana Parva 

of Mahabharata. (See under M.B.) . 
AJAGARAVRATA. The vrata practised by the sage, 
Ajagara. (A vrata is a predetermined course of action 
which is followed with continued persistence). In his 
own words it is the following : "If I get a grand feast 
I will accept it but I will go without food for days 
together if I do not get any food at all. People used to 
feed me well sometimes, sometimes a little and some- 
times not at all. I will eat vegetables and cakes some- 
times. I will eat meat and any kind of food. I will lie on 
soft bed or on bare earth sometimes and in big houses 
if I get the chance. I will wear costly clothes if I get 
them or I will wear dried leaves and animal skins. If 
I get food from yagasalas I will never refuse it, but I 
will never go seeking for it." (Slokas 19-25, Chapter 
1 79, Santi Parva, M.B.) . 

AJAGAVA. The bow of Mandhata and Prthu and the 
Gandlva of Arjuna bear the name Ajagava. (Slokas 33 
and 34, Chapter 126, Vana Parva; Sloka 94, Chapter 
145, Drona Parva, M.B. and Chapter 13, ArhSam 1 of 
Visnu Purana) . 

AjAMlDHA. A king born of the family of Ajamidha. 
AjANEYA. A species of good horses. (Sloka 10, Chap- 
ter 270, Vana Parva, M.B.). 

AjYAPA (S) . A community of Pitrs belonging to the 
dynasty of Pulaha. They are called so because they 
drink during yagas the ghee made out of goats milk 
(Ajyam) ( Ma tsya Purana). They live in the land of 
Kardama Prajapati. Their daughter Viraja is the wife 
of Nahusa. (Srsti Khanda, Padma Purana). 
AKARSA. People living in the land named Akarsa are 
called Akarsas. (Sloka 11, Chapter 34, Sabha Parva, 
AKASAJANANl. Holes made on the walls of a Fort. 

Bullets are sent out from the fort through these holes. 
AKATHA. Son of Maiikana. He was a great devotee 
of Siva and once when his house was burnt completely 
the idol of Siva inside his house was partially destroyed. 
Worried much over this loss Akatha was about to give 
a portion of his body also to the flames when Siva 

appeared before him and blessed him. (Patala Khanda, 
Padma Purana) . 

AKROSA. A king of ancient Bharata. He was king over 
the land ofMahottha. Nakula conquered him during 
his victory march. (Slokas 5 and 6, Chapter 32, Sabha 
Parva, M.B.). 

AKRTI. A king of ancient Bharata. This king ruled 
over the land of Saurastra. (Sloka 61, Chapter 31, 
Sabha Parva, M.B.) . 

AKRTIPUTRA. Ruciparva, son of Akrti. He fought on 
the side of the Pandavas and was killed by Bhagadatta. 
(Slokas 40 to 47, Chapter 27, Drona Parva, M.B.). 

AKUTI. Wife of Ruciprajapati. Brahma's son Svayam- 
bhuva Manu got of his wife Satarupa two sons Priya- 
vrata and Uttanapada and two daughters Prasuti and 
Akuti. Prasuti was married to Daksaprajapati and 
Akuti to Ruciprajapati. Akuti delivered twins named 
Yajna, a son, and Daksina, a daughter. (Chapter 7, 
Varhsam 1, Visnu Purana). 


ALAMBA. An ancient sage. He nourished in Yudhis- 

thira's court. (M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 5, Verse 5 j. 

ALAMBAYANA. A comrade of Indra. (M.B., Anu- 

Sasana Parva, Chapter 13, Verse 15) . 
ALVAR. See the word NAMMALVAR. 
AMA. See under AVATARA. 

AMARATHA. A place in ancient Bharata. (Sloka 54, 
_ Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva, M.B.). 

ANA I. (A Malayalam word meaning elephant). Bhaga- 
vata relates the story of how Indradyumna became 
an elephant by the curse of Agastya. (See under Indra- 
dyumna) . 

ANA II. (Elephant) . Valmlki Ramayana narrates the 
origin of elephants thus; "Kasyapa was born to Marlci, 
son of Brahma. KaSyapa married the daughters, Aditi, 
Dili, Danu, Kalika, Tamra, Krodhavasa, Manu and 
Anala, of Daksaprajapati. Of these Krodhavas"a gave 
birth to ten girls, MrgI, Mrgamada, Harl, Bhadramata, 
Matarigl, Sardull, Sveta, Surabhi, Surasa, and Kadru. 
Elephants were born as the sons of Matarigl. (Sarga 14, 
Aranya Kanda, Valmlki Ramayana.) . 
There is a story in the Mahabharata to explain why the 
tongue of the elephant is curved inside. "Bhrgu Maharsi 
cursed Agni and greatly dejected over this he dis- 
appeared from public and hid somewhere. The Devas 
started searching for him and it was an elephant that 
showed the devas the hiding place of Agni. Agni then 
cursed the elephants and said that thereafter all the 
elephants would have their tongues curved inside. (Sloka 
36, Chapter 85, AnuSasana Parva, M.B.). 
The signs of good elephants and the treatment to be 
accorded to sick ones are detailed in Agni Purana. 
"Elephants with long trunks and heavy breathing be- 
long to the top class and they will possess great endu- 
rance power. Those who have nails eighteen or twenty 
in number and who became turbulent during winter 
belong to a superior class. Those ones whose right 
tusks are a bit raised, whose cry is stentorian as that of 
thunder whose ears are very big and whose skins are 
spotted are the best of the species. Other varieties espe- 
cially the dwarfish type and she-elephants in the early 
stage of pregnancy are not good and not fit to be tamed. 
Elephants who have Varna, Sattva, Bala, Rupa, Kanti, 
Sariraguna and Vega will conquer enemies in a battle; 
there is no doubt about it. Elephants are an ornament 

ANA ii 


ANA ii 

for any battle-array. The victory earned by a King with 
his elephants is more respected. 

For all diseases of an elephant Anuvasana or Sncha- 
vasti is recommended. A bath after anointing it with 
oil or ghee is good. For bkin diseases the ghee may be 
combined with Manjal ( Turmeric) , Maramanjal or 
gomutra (cow urine). If it suffers from enlargement 
of the belly, giving it a bath with sesame oil is good. 
It can be given Pancalavanas and Varunlmadya to 
drink. If there is fainting it must be given rice mixed 
with Vlalari, Triphala, Cukku, Mulaku and Tippali 
and water mixed with honey to drink. If there is head- 
ache anointing the head with sesame oil and inhala- 
tion of the same is good. 

For diseases of the foot, treatment with Snehaputas is 
prescribed. To get motion of the bowels Kalkan^a 
Kasaya (infusion of sugar candy) is good. To those who 
have shivers should be given the flesh of peacock, 
Tittiri bird and Lava bird mixed with Tippali and pep- 
per. For dysentery the tender fruit of Kuvala, skin of 
Paccotti, flower of Tatiri should be dried and powder- 
ed and be given mixed with sugar along with rice. For 
Karagraha (pain inside the trunk) Nasy am of ghee with 
Intappd mixed in it should be done. It must be given 
"Muttahga Kanci with tippali, Cukku and Jiraka in 
it. For Utkarnaka (pain in the ear) flesh of pigs should 
be given. For Galagraha (pain in the neck) a liniment 
made of Dasamula, Mutirappuli and Kakkappancci in 
oil should be rubbed at the site of pain and the elephant 
kept under chains. If there is difficulty in passing urine 
light liquor containing powdered Astalavanas should 
be given. For all skin diseases use Vep oil as an oint- 
ment and give the infusion of Atalotaka to drink. For 
worms (inside the stomach) give cow's urine with pow- 
dered Vlalari in it. If the elephant is getting reduced 
and weak it should be given milk or meat soup with Cuk- 
ku, Tippali and grapes well mixed in it. If there is lack 
of appetite it is to be given Mulgaudana (rice boiled 

along with Cerupayar)to which is added Cukku, Mulaku 
and Tippali. If it is Gulma it should be given sesame 
oil boiled with the following: Trikotpakkonna, Cukku, 
Mulaku Tippali, Kotuvelikkilarigu, Nagadantiveru, 
Erikkinveru, Natkkotpakkonna, Milk and Attittippali. 
Navara rice with sort of cerupayar can also be given. 
For swellings on the face, a paste made of tender 
Kuvala fruits can be rubbed at the site of the swelling. 
For all sorts of pains in the stomach rice well mixed 
with the powder made by grinding together Vlalari, 
Kutakappalayari, Asafoetida, Carala, Manjal, Mara- 
manjal may be given. 

The best food for elephants is the rice of Navara, Vrlhi 
and cennellu. Yava and wheat arc next to the above. 
Any other food is inferior to these. Yava and sugarcane 
will give strength to elephants. Dry yava rice is not 
good. Milk and meat cooked with carminative ingre- 
dients are good for elephants who have gone lean. 
If the elephants receive great injuries in a battle the 
meat of birds like crow, fowl, cuckoo and Hari mixed 
with honey is good. Fumigation by the burning of 
chilli, fish, Vlalari, caustic soda, Puttal, Piram and 
maramanjal mixed together is effective. Dropping 
honey medicated with tippali tandula, sesame oil, and 
fruit honey in the eyes is not only good for the eyes but 
is also inducive of digestion. Make an ointment with 
the faces of the birds cataka and Paravata mixed with 
the burnt skin of Natpamara dissolved in light spirit. 
If this ointment is applied, the elephant would defeat 
all enemies in a battle. Powder Nilotpala, Muttaiiga 
and Takara and make an ointment using rice gruel. 
Applying this ointment in the eye is excellent. 
If the nails grow they should be cut at least once a 
month. Once in a month an oil bath is good for the 
elephants. Elephant sheds should be spread with cow- 
dung discs and dust. Doing Seka with ghee during 
autumn and summer is advisable. (Chapter 287, Agni 

1. Vlalari The grain of Vial Vidanga (Babreng) 

2. Triphala -A combination of the three fruits : 

a) amalaki (Emblic Myrobalam) b) Vibhitaki (Beleric Myrobalam) and c) Haritaki (Myrobalam) 

3. Gukku Sunthi (dry ginger) 

4. Mulaku Raktamarica (chilli) 

5. Tippali Pippali (long pepper) 

6. Kuvala Vilva (Bengal Kins) 

7. Paccotti Lodhra (symplocos Racemosa) 

8. Tatiri Dhataki (Grislea Tomentosa) 

9. Nasyam A method of introducing medicine through the nose 

10. Intappu SallakI Puspa (Flower of Boswellia Thurifera) 

11. Muttanga Musta (Cyperus Rotendus) Kanci means rice boiled with water and Muttanga Kanci means rice and muttaiiga boiled 

12. Jiraka Jiraka (cumin seeds) 

13. Dasamula A combination often herbs. 

14. Mutirappuh 

15. Kakkappanacci Kakatindu 

16. Astalavanas Eight salts like common salt, rock salt, magnesium sulphate etc. 

17. Atalotaka Atarusa (Vasaka) 

18. Cerupayar Mudga (green-grain) 

19. Gulma 

20. Trikotpakkonna Trivrt (Turbithroot) 

21. Kotuvelikkilangu Gitraka (Plumbago rose) 

22. Nagadantiveru Root of Nagadanti (Glancous leaved Physicnut) 

23. Erikkin Veru Root of Arkka (Gigantic swallow wort) 

24. Natkkotpakkonna Krsna Trivrt 

25. Attittippali- Hasti-pippali 

26. Navara Sastika A kind of rice. 

27. Garala Sarala (long leaved pine) 

28. Manjal Haridra (Turmeric) 

29. Maramanjal Darvi 

30. Vrihi Cinah (A kind of paddy) (Continued) 




ANAKA. A person of the Yadava dynasty. (See under 

ANAKADUNDUBHI. An epithet of Vasudeva, father 
of Sri Krsna. 

ANANDA. A forest on the top of the mountain Maha- 
meru. It was inhabited by celestial damsels, devas, 
gandharvas and Maharsis. (Chapter 93, Bhumi 
Khanda, Padma Purana) . 

ANANDA (CAKSUSA)! Son of Maharsi Anamitra. It 
was he who was born as Caksusa, the sixth Manu. 
There is a story behind his birth. One day, while his 
mother was keeping him in her lap and caressing him 
the baby laughed and questioned "Oh mother why are 
you caressing me, but look at those two cats. They 
consider me as their food". After some time one of the 
cats took the child away and put it in the cradle of the 
child of King Vikranta. Vikranta took the child as his 
for granted and reared him. At the time of Upanayana 
the King asked the boy to prostrate before his mother at 
which the boy exclaimed "Oh King, I am not your son. 
Your son is at some other place. By births and rebirths 
all of us have many mothers and so it is better to be 
above rebirths". After having said so much Ananda 
went to the forest and started doing penance. Brahma 
appeared before him and blessing him said that he 
would become the sixth Manu and lead the world to 
righteousness. By the blessing of Brahma Ananda was 
reborn as Caksusamanu. (Sec under Caksusa). (Mar- 
kandeya Purana). 

ANANDAVARDHANA. A great critic of Sanskrit litera- 
ture. He lived in the 9th century A.D. He expounded 
his theory of Dhvanivada by 120 Karikas. His own 
commentary of the Karikas is the book called Dhvanya- 
loka. There are four parts for Dhvanyaloka and each 
part is called an Udyota. 

There is a belief among a few that the Karikas were 
written by another scholar, Sahrdaya, and that Ananda- 
vardhana had written only a commentary on it. He 
was a member of the royal council of Avantivarma 
who ruled Kashmir during the period 854-884 A.D. 
It is believed that he wrote Dhvanyaloka in 850 A.D. 
Many commentaries have been written of Dhvanyaloka 
of which the one written by Abhinavagupta is consider- 
ed to be the best. 

ANARTTA. Grandson of Vaivasvatamanu. He was a 
king, son of Saryati. 

1 . Genealogy. Descending in order from Visnu-Brahma- 
Marici-KaSyapa-Vivasvan - Vaivasvatamanu - Saryati - 

Sixteen sons were born to Vaivasvatamanu: Manu, 
Yama, YamI, Asvinikumara, Revanta, Sudyumna, Iks- 
vaku, Nrga, Saryati, Dista, Dhrsta, Kariisa, Narisyanta, 
Nabhaga, Prsadhra and Kavi. Of these Saryati got 
two children, Sukanya and Anartta. Sukanya. became 
the wife of Cyavana. 

2}0ther details. It was this king who built the fortresses 
at the town of Kusasthall(Dvaraka) . Varuna submerg- 

ed in the ocean all the fortresses built by him and the 
place for sometime remained as a forest-land. (Dasama 
Skandha, BhagavataKilippattu). It was after that that 
Sri Krsna made that land beautiful and called it 
Dvaraka. The country ruled over by Anartta was called 
Anarttam. During his regime there lived in his land a 
very great scholar named Vedaratha. (Umeanavrata, 
Siva Purana) See under Vedaratha. 

ANARTTA (M). A place in ancient Bharata. Arjuna 
conquered this place. (Sloka 4, Chapter 26, Sabha 

_ Parva, M.B.). 

ANDHRA. The present Andhra Pradesa. It was famous 
even from puranic times and it was annexed by Saha- 
deva by defeating its ruler in a game of dice. 

ANGARISTHA. A king of ancient Bharata. (Slokas 
13 and 14, Chapter 123, Sand Parva, M.B.) . 

ANGIRASAKALPA. A samhita division of Atharva- 
veda. The five samhita divisions of Atharvaveda 
written by MunjikeSa are the best. They are: The 
Naksatra Kalpa dealing with the puj a rites of the 
stars; The veda Kalpa dealing with the rites associated 
with Brahma, the Rtvik; The Samhita Kalpa, dealing 
with the use and practice of Mantras; The Ahgirasa 
Kalpa dealing with sorcery; and the Santi Kalpa 
dealing with matters relating to the welfare and 
control of animals like horses and elephants. (Chapter 6, 
Arhsam 3 of Visnu Purana). 

A very chaste wife of a Brahmin. By the 
curse of Sakti, son of Vasistha Kalrnasapada, a king of 
the Iksvaku dynasty became a demon. That demon 
killed and devoured the husband of Aiigirasi. Enraged 
at this the Brahmin lady cursed Kalmasapada saying 
that if he touched his wife thereafter he would die. 
That was why Vasistha had to beget a son for Kal- 
masapada of his wife. (Slokas 16-22, Chapter 181, Adi 
Parva, M.B.). 

ANGHRIKA. One of the sons of Visvamitra who were 
Brahmavadins. (Sloka 54, Chapter 4, AnuSasana 
Parva, M.B.). 

ANJALI. A sage who was a classmate of Saunaka. 
(Skandha 12, Bhagavata) . 

ANJANA KULA. A division of elephants (in the 
army). (Slokas 17 and 18, Chapter 112, Drona Parva, 

ANUSASANIKA PARVA. One of the Parvans of the 
Mahabharata. (See under Mahabharata') . 

APA. One of the Astavasus. The Astavasus are Apa, 
Dhruva, Soma, Dharma, Anila, Agni, Pratyusa and 
Prabhasa. The sons of Apa are Vaitanda, Srama, Santa 
and Svani. (See under Astavasus). (Chapter 15, Amsam 
1, Visnu Purana) . 

APAGA. A sacred river. It is said that if one gives food 
to one brahmin on the banks of this river it will be 
equivalent to giving food to a crore of brahmins else- 
where. (Sloka 68, Chapter 83, Vana Parva, M.B.). 

31. Gennellu Sali (Red rice) 

32. Yava yava (Barley) 

33. Puttal 

34. Piram 

35. Tandula same as Vial 

36. Natpamara Four trees : Va(a, Vata, Asvattha and Udumbara. 

37. Nilotpala Nilapadma (Blue water-lilly) 

38. Takara Tagara 

39. Seka A drip-bath with medicated oil. 




&PASTAMBA. An ancient sage. He once consoled 
King Dyumatsena. (Sloka 18, Chapter 298, Vana 
Parva, M.B.) . 

1 ) Ho jo he got his name. Once a brahmin did not get 
a suitable man toofficiate as priest for a sraddha cere- 
mony. He then prayed to his ancestors, Visvedevas 
and Mah'ivisnu for help and then Apastamba appeared 
before him. The brahmin gave him food to his heart's 
content and asked him how he felt. To the surprise of 
the brahmin Apastamba replied, he wanted some more 
and thus made the Sraddha ineffective. The brahmin 
got angry and cursed him by sprinkling on his face 
water taken in his palm. But before the water-particles 
reached his face Apastamba ordered the water-drops to 
remain still. Water stopped stiff and still midway by 
the power of the sage. Because water (Apa) became 
stiff (Stamba) the rsi was named Apastamba. (Brahma 
Purana) . 

2) How Apastamba tirtha came into existence. Once he met 
Agastya Muni and asked him who was superior among 
the gods Brahma, Visnu and Siva. Agastya declared 
that Siva stood supreme of the lot and gave him advice 
as to how to please Siva. Following his instructions 
Apastamba did penance on the banks of the river Gau- 
tami and Siva appeared before him, blessed him, and 
made that place a holy one. Siva declared that those 
who, bathed at that place would obtain 'Divyajnana' 
(Divine knowledge enabling one to know the past, 
present and future) . From then onwards that place 
was known as Apastamba tirtha. 

3 ) Other details. Apastamba had a very chaste and 
humble wife named Aksasutra. Their son was Garki. 
'Grhyasutrasarhgraha' containing a prayer and two man- 
tras is a contribution to the holy science by Apastamba. 
Many Hindus follow it even now. He had stated 
that the decrease in the number of great sages was 
because of the fact that people were not practising the 
control of the senses as before. 

APADDHARMA PARVA. A sub-divisional Parva of the 
Mahabharata. (See under Mahabharata). 

APA VAN I. Another name of sage Vasis^ha. (Sloka 5, 
Chapter 99, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

APA VAN II. An ancient sage. Karttavlryarjuna once 
burnt the aSrama of this rsi and he cursed Agni and 
Karttavlryarjuna. (Slokas 42 and 43, Chapter 49, Santi 
Parva, M.B.). 

APODADHAUMYA. (See Ayodadhaomya). 

APTA. A well-known serpent of the KaSyapa dynasty. 
(Sloka 8, Chapter 35, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

APtJRAl^A. A well-known serpent of the Kasyapa dy- 
nasty. (Sloka 6, Chapter 35, Adi Parva). 

AR. The significance of the number six _among the an- 
cients, is given below. (In Malayalam Ar means six). 

1) Six factors which reduce the span of life. Eating dry 
meat, Drinking curd at night, Sleeping at dawn, 
Drinking impure water, Exposure to sun's heat in the 
morning. Inhaling fumes from dead body. 

2) Six divine qualities. Omniscience, Omnipresence, 
Omnipotence, Sarvakaranatva (being the cause of 
everything); Sarvanityatva (immortality) and Sar- 
vesVaratva ( having domination over everything) . 

3) Six noblsst qualities. Truth; Wisdom, Mercy, Justice, 
fortitude in grief, control of anger. 

4) Six $si Dharmas (Duties of Sages) . Brahmacarya, 

Absolute truth, Japa, Jnana (wisdom), Niyama, Sense 
of Justice. 

5) Six qualities of noble wives. A minister in business, a 
servant-maid in action, the goddess Laksmi in appear- 
ance, the Earth in patience, a mother in love and a 
prostitute in bed. 

6) Six qualities of a bad u if e. Habit of dispute, stealing 
of money, showing favour to strangers, scandal-monger- 
ing, taking food earlier than the husband, spending 
most of the time in other houses. 

7) Six Vedahgas. Siksa, Kalpa, Vyakarana, Nirukta, 
Jyotisa, Chandas. 

ARALIKA. A mahout who could control elephants 
that had gone mad temporarily. (Sloka 9, Chapter 2, 
Virata Parva. M.B.) . 

ARAINJEYAPARVA. A sub-divisional Parva of the Maha- 
bharata- (See under Mahabharata). 

ARCOKA. A mountain in front of the forest Saindhava 
inhabited by Manisipurusas. (Sloka 16, Chapter 125, 

_ Vana Parva, M.B.) .' 

ARJAVA. Son of Subala and brother of Sakuni. He 
was killed by Iraviin son of Aijuna. (Bhisma Parva, 

AROCAKA(M). A country of ancient Bharata. The 
people of this place are called Arocakas. (Sloka 7, 
Chapter 51, Bhisma Parva, M.B.). 

ARSA(M). A form of marriage. Brahma is the form of 
marriage in which the bride is given to a man of good 
ancestry and fine character. Marriage by giving the 
bride after receiving a pair of cows from the bride- 
groom is called Arsa. Prajapatya is the form of marriage 
in which the bride is given to the man who asks for 
her. When the bride is given with dowry, the marriage 
is known as Asuram. Marriage with the mutual love and 
consent is Glndharva. Capturing the bride after a fight 
and marrying her by force is Raksasa. Marriage after 
deceiving the bride is called Paisaca. These are the 
seven types of marriage. According to the author of the 
Smrti another form of marriage known as DAIVA is 
also mentioned. (Agni Purana, Chapter 154). 

ARSTISENA. A Maharsi. In the Mahabharata, Vana 
Parva, Chapter 159 there is a reference to the Pandavas 
visiting this sage during their life in the forest. Ars{i- 
sena's asrama was midway between Badaiyasrama and 
Kubera's capital. 

Power of Tapas. In Krtayuga this sage did rigorous 
tapas in Prthudakatirtha. Owing to the rigour of the 
tapas he obtained all the chief vedas. He gave three 
boons to that sacred tirtha : 

1 . Those who bathe in this tirtha will get the benefit of 
ASvamedha yaga. 

2. There will be no fear of snakes in this tirtha. 

3. A slight effort made here, will be rewarded with 
greater results. 

After giving these three boons to the river Sarasvati 
which is Prthudakatirtha the sage attained Brahmin- 
hood and entered Devaloka. (M.B., Salya Parva, 
Chapter 40, Verses 3-9). 

ARTTAYANI. Salya, son of Rtayana. He was noted 
for his great honesty and love of truth. (Sloka 56, Chap- 

_ ter32, Salya Parva, M.B.) . 

ARTIMAN. A mantra which eliminates all kinds of fear. 
(M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 50, Versus 23-26) . 

ARUiifl I. A disciple of the sage Ayodhadhaumya. 
(For details see under Ayodhadhaumya) . 




ISI II. A cobra born in the family of the serpent, 
Dhrtarastra. This cobra fell dead at_the Sarpasatra of 

_ Janamejaya. (Slokal9, Chapter 57, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

ARUTjII III. A son born to Kasyapa of his wife Vinata. 
(Sloka 40, Chapter 65, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

ARUiyi IV. A soldier of the Kaurava army. He fought 
against Arjuna along with Sakuni. (Sloka 122, Chap- 

_ ter 156, Drona Parva, M.B.) . 

ARUT^I V. One of the one hundred and eight Upanisads. 

ARUSl, A daughter ofManu. Cyavana Maharsi married 
her. They got a son named Aurva. The child was 
taken from the thigh of Arusi. RcTka was the son of this 
Aurva. Rclka was the father of Jamadagni, father of 
Parasurama. Even from childhood Aurva was a bold, 
bright and good boy. (Slokas 47 and 48, Chapter 66, 
Adi Parva, M.B.). 

ARYAS. The Rgveda gives us most of the information 
regarding the Aryas who came to the north of India 
during the times of the Vedas through the passes on 
that north-western side of Bharata. Sirdar K.M. Panikar 
writing in his preface to the 'Rgvedasarhhita' by Poet 
Vallathol summarises the information available in the 
Rgveda about Aryan culture and says: "When the 
Aryans first entered India they were rich in 
cattle. They used to breed goats, dogs, donkeys, and 
horses. The elephant was unknown to them. In the 
Vedas the vehicle of Ind a is a horse and not an eleph- 
ant. When hailing Indra they shout 'come, come on 
your horse-back'. The Veda does not say anything 
about how Indra got the elephant, Airavata, as his 
vehicle. Sing to the glory of Indra against whom in 
his chariot driven by two horses no enemy would dare 
to face. 

The Rgveda gives great importance to agriculture. 
Areas under cultivation were called Urvara and 
'Ksetra'. Fields were ploughed by attaching six, eight 
and even twelve bullocks to the plough. Water was taken 
from hradas and Kulyakas (ponds and tanks) for the 
purpose of irrigation. Agriculture was a very familiar 
art to them. They used to cultivate all sorts of grains 
and grams including yava. They conducted trade by 
the exchange of goods generally. There is a reference 
ii one place of the use of a coin 'Niska' 
The Aryas were clever in the art of leather work, wood- 
work and metallurgy. They were well versed in medi- 
cine also. In a sukta of the ninth mandala it is stated 
that the father of a rsi was a medical practitioner. 
There are references to many industries also. Weav- 
ing was a very important industry at that time. Cotton 
cloth and woollen blankets were made by them on a 
large scale. Iron was used by them with great skill. 
The manufacture of armours and the descriptions about 
them in Rgveda are ample evidence of the proficiency 
of the Aryas in ironmongery and blacksmithy. Sea 
voyage was not familiar to them. References to traders 
cruising in boats in the Sindhu river do not give much 
importance to the cruising. In food rice and ghee were 
important. Meat was also relished. Rsis wore animal 
skins but others wore dhotis and shawls. 
During the Rgvedic times their social structure was 
divided into four stages: Grama was a colony of fami- 
lies and was the nucleus of the society. A number of 
gramas formed into a place called Visaya. A number 
of Visayas became what was known as 'Janam'. The 
importance of Janas can be understood by the state- 

ments made about Pancajanas and the existence of 
special Janas like Yadavajana and Bharata Jana. 
There is no wonder why the Aryas v\ ho had to live among 
enemies accepted kingship. The Rgveda narrates the 
difficulties people would have to encounter if they were 
left to fight their enemies without a proper leader and 
so advocates Kingship and gives it an exalted position 
in their social structure. Sukta 22, Anuvaka 12 of 
Mandala 10 describes the coronation of a King thus: 
"I do hereby crown you as King. Come to our midst. 
Rule us with courage and an unwavering mind. Let 
all your subjects love you. Let thy kingdom remain 
with you for ever". The next mantra is also of che 
same idea. A King is above punishment. The veda 
speaks about many famous kings of which the following 
are worth mentioning. Divodasa, Sud s, Ambarlsa, 
Nahusa and Pururavas. 

The chief priest was always the political advisor also. 
Visvamitra and Vasistha were two great priests of the 
Bharata dynasty. There were other priests also. Men- 
tion is there about a Rajasabha though nothing is said 
about their powers or functions. It can be surmised 
that theSabha was constituted of only men of character 
and learning. 

It is interesting to note the type of domestic life in 
vogue then. A father had the right, to sell his children, 
To cite an example is the story of SunaSsepha who was 
made into a cow and sold to Visvamitra who looked 
after him well. The father had the right to make his 
children lose all rights over his properties. Visvamitra 
sent out from his family fifty sons who refused to obey 
him. Dowry was current then. Sukta 11, Anuvaka 3, 
Mandalam 10 ordains that the bride should go to the 
house of her husband after the marriage. Polygamy was 
not objected to. There is a mantra to harass the co-wife 
and its purpose is to make the husband more attached 
to her who hates the co-wife. The originator of this 
mantra was Indranl, the queen of Indra. Indra had 
many wives. Marriage was considered as a necessary 
duty. Widow marriage was allowed. 
The Rgveda gives the picture of a society of people 
who were always at war with each other. "We are 
surrounded by mighty enemies. Help us". This is the 
slogan that rings out from the Rgveda. 
The Rgveda is a history of the Aryas. The march from 
Kubhatata (Kubul) to the banks of Yamuna is depict- 
ed there. It was at Kubhatata that the mantras were 
first made. When they reach the banks of the Ganga 
the period of Rgveda ends. The crossing of each of 
the five rivers of Pancanada is treated as a big event 
by the rsis. When they saw the huge and deep river, 
Sindhu, they were amazed. The wonder is reflected in a 
lovely mantra. It was after crossing Sindhu that they had 
to oppose the 'Dasyus'. The Rgveda itself records that 
the Dasyus were more cultured than the Aryas. $am- 
bara, a Dasyu King, was the ruler of a hundred cities. 
Their fortresses were strong. They have been described 
in the Rgveda as Asvamayi, Ayasi and Satabhujl. 
The chief opponents of the Aryas were a tribe of people 
called Panis. From the Nirukta of Yaska we are given 
to understand that the Panis were mainly engaged in 
trade. The Rgveda names many Dasyu kings of which 
the following few were more daring and brave and the 
Aryas acknowledged their superior strength and courage : 
Dhuni, Cumuri, Vipru, Varcis and Sambara. Among 




the several divisions of the Dasyus, the Simyus, KIkatas, 
Sigrus and Yaksus ranked foremost in power. They are 
described as having black colour and flat noses and 
speaking a language different from that of the Aryas. 
We may surmise from these facts that they belonged 
to the Dravida class of people. They never conducted 
yaga nor did they worship gods like Indra. They were 
idol worshippers for they have been abused as 'Sisna- 
devas'. Later the Aryas learnt from the Dasyus the 
worship of Siva, Devi and Liuga. 

Conquering these daring and cultured enemies the 
Aryas reached the banks of the Yamuna to find to their 
pleasant surprise a radical change in themselves. The 
Bharatas settled themselves in the land between the 
Yamuna and Gaiiga and remained friendly with the 
Dasyus living to the east of Ganga. The Aryas who 
settled down in Pancanada were strong and to prevent 
them from coming and conquering them Bharata tried 
to keep them remain on the other side of Sutudri 
(Sutlej) . This led to a war called Dasarajna. 
This war is to be considered as one of the most impor- 
tant of wars in the world. Those who opposed Sudas 
were Aryas though among the supporters of Sudas were 
also Aryas. It was the people under Sudls who came 
out victorious in that war and put a stop to further 
conquests by the Aryas. From thereafter the Aryas 
joined hands with the aborigines and laid the foundation 
for the great Hindu civilization. Thereafter the Rgveda 
states about prayers for help to combat 'our enemies 
of Aryas and Dasyus'. The gods who were recognised 
later were those who were not found in the vedas of 
the Aryas. The worship of Mahayogi and Devi found 
in Mohenjodaro is an evidence of this change. 

ARYA. One of the seven mothers who were present at 
the birth of Subrahmanya. (Sloka 13, Chapter 228, 
Vana Parva, MB.) . 

ARYAKA. A famous serpent. (Sloka 7, Chapter 35, 
Adi Parva, M.B. ) Aryaka is associated with Bhlmasena 
in the following story. Once Duryodhana gave snake 
poison in his food to Bhlmasena. Unaware Bhlma took 
his food as usual and went to bathe in the river. After 
some time Bhlma became unconscious due to the effect 
of the poison and fell flat in the river. 
Immediately Duryodhana bound him by ropes and put 
him in more deep waters. Bhlma reaching the bottom 
was bitten by all the snakes there. This fortunately 
served as an antidote and the poison in Bhlma's body 
was neutralized and Bhlma became his old self again 
and killed all the serpents. Those serpents who escaped 
went and brought their chief, Vasuki. At that time it was 
Aryaka who advised Vasuki to give him 'rasapana'. 
(Slokas 64-68, Chapter 127, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

ARYAKU. Another name for Durgadevi. (Chapter 12, 
Agni Purana) . 

ARYAVARTA. Another name for Bharata. There is 
also a place of that name. According to Smrti the land 
lying between the Himalayas and the Vindhyas is called 

_ Aryavarta. (Sloka 15, Chapter 325, Sand Parva, M.B.). 

ARYAVARTA. A king of the dynasty of Visvakarma. 
Genealogy. Descending in order from Visnu are Brahma, 
Dharma, Prabhasa, Visvakarma, Priyavrata, Agnldhra, 
Nabhi, Rsabha and Aryavarta. 

Of these Rsabhxgotof his wife Ja/antI twenty sons: 
Bharata, KuSlvarta, Ilavarti, Brahmavarta, Aryavarta 
Malaya, Ketu, Bhidrasena, Indrasprk, Vidarbha, 

Klkata, Kavi, Hari, Antarlksa, Prabuddha, Pippalayana, 
Avirhotra, Dramida, Cainasa and Karabhajana. Of these 
Bharata ruled over this land and gave it the name 
Bharata. Brothers of Bharata ruled different parts of this 
land. Dramida's land became known later as Dravida 
(Daksinabharata) . 

ASADHA I. A Ksatriya King. He was the incarnation 
of a Raksasa called Krodhavasa. Kas/apa was the son 
of Marlci, Brahma's son. Kasyapa married Krodha- 
vasa, daughter of Daksa. The Raksasa group called 
Krodhuvasas were the children of Krodhavasa. Many 
Ksatriya kings trace their descent from this group of 
Raksasas. The names of such Ksatriya Kings are given 
below: Madraka, Karnavestha, Siddhartha, Klta- 
kariddha, Subahu, Balhika, Kratha, Vicitra, Suratha, 
Ciravasas, Kauravya, Dantavaktra, Durjaya, Rukmi, 
Janamejaya, Asadha, Vayuvega, Bhuritejas, Ekalavya, 
Sumitra, Gomukha, Vatadhana, and Ksemadhurti. 
(M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 6, Verses 59-64). 

ASADHA II. Siva. (M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 
17,Verse 121). 

ASADHABHCTI. See under Pancatantra. 

ASADHA. Name of a month. By feasting in this month, 
one will have many sons and much wealth. (M.B., Anu- 
sasana Parva, Chapter 106, Verse 26) . 

ASADHA. Name of a star. After observing a fast on the 
day of this star, if curd is given to a Brahmin of noble 
birth, one can take rebirth in a family having many 
cows. (M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 64, Verses 

_ 25-26). 

ASADHAKA. A mahout in the Udayana story. In 
Kathasaritsagara, Kathamukhalambaka, 5th Taranga, we 
find a reference to an elephant called Bhadravati and a 
mahout named Asadhaka in the palace of the heroine, 

ASAMGA. See under ANAA. 

ASAMGAPLAYOGI. A King, who was generous by 
nature. In the Rgveda, there is a reference to this King 
who once lost his masculinity and was transformed into 
a woman but was restored to manhood by a Muni 
named Medhyatithi. 

ASANA. Posture in Yogabhyasa. There are different 
types ofasanas. The chief of them are given below: 

1 ) Bhujangasana, Lying flat, face downwards on a 
sheet with hands placed close to the body on either 
side. After relaxing all the muscles of the body, concen- 
trate the mind on health. Keeping the feet close to- 
gether and pressing the knees against the ground, raise 
the soles upwards to the sky. Place both palms, pressing 
against the ground, touching the shoulders on both 
sides. Then raise the head and bend the neck back- 
wards as far as possible. At this time, the trunk and 
legs should be in close contact with the ground. Gra- 
dually raise the chest, supported by the hands on the 
ground. Bring the head down in the same way as it was 
raised and restore the body to its former position. This 
asana strengthens the backbone. 

2) Salabhasana. Lie flat on the sheet, face downwards. 
Keep the legs close together and raise the feet up with 
the heels touching each other. Place the hands close 
to the body on either side and close the fists upwards. 
Place the fists and shoulders close to the ground and 
make the whole body stiff after inhaling the breath. 
Then try to raise the legs. Support the weight of the 
body with the breast and hands. This is possible by 



pressing the fists, firmly against the ground. Until the 
asana is completed, do not send out the breath. Keep 
the legs straight and stiff. The lower abdomen and legs 
may be raised slightly. This makes the asana complete. 
On feeling suffocation, the legs must be brought down 

Besides these, there are many other asanas like Dhanur, 
Pascimatanasana, Halasana, Mayarasana, 


Sarvaiigasana, Matsy asana, Sirsasana, Arddhamatsy- 
endrasana, Padahastasana, Trikonasana, Udcjlyasana, 
Nauli, Viparltakarani, Yogamudra, Savasana, etc. (See 
under Yoga) . 

ASAVAHA I. A son of Kasyapa and Aditi. From Visnu 
Brahma, from Brahma Marici and from Marlci Kasyapa 
were born. Kasyapa married Aditi. daughter of Daksa. 
Aditi gave birth to ten sons : Brhadbhanu, Caksur- 
atma, Vibhavasu, Rcika, Savita, Arka, Bhanu, Asavaha, 
Ravi and Vivasvan. Vaivasvata Manu was the son of 
Vivasvan. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 1, Verse 42). 

ASAVAHA II. A prince of the Vfsni dynasty. He was 
present at the Svayariivara of Draupadi. (M.B., Adi 
Parva, Chapter 185, Verse 19). 

ASRAMA. Asramites (Inmates of an Asrama)have to pass 
through four stages. The four stages of Brahmacarya. 
Garhasthya, Vanaprastha and Sannyasa are known as 
the four Asramas. Visnu Purana, Part III, Chapter 9 
describes each of the Asramas as follows : 

1. Brahmacarya. "After Upanayana a boy should 
maintain a Brahmacari's vrata, engage himself in the 
study of the Vedas, suppress his indriyas (the five 
senses) and live in the house of the preceptor. Living 
there with proper observance of sauca, customs and 
vratas he should serve and attend on the Guru. The 
study of Vedas should be with proper observance of 
Vratas and steady attention. A Brahmacari should 
worship with concentration, the Sun and Agni at the 
time of the two sandhyas (dawn and dusk) and after 
that he should do obeisance to the Guru. When the Guru 
stands, he should also be standing. When the guru walks, 
he should walk behind him and when he sits, he should 
sit in a lower position. The Sisya (disciple-pupil) should 
not do anything against the guru. When the guru him- 
self asks, the Sisya should sit in front of him and recite 
Vedas without attending to anything else. After that, 
with his permission he may eat food which has been 
got by begging. The Sisya may take his bath in the 
water only after the Acarya (guru) has taken his bath 
in it. Everyday the Camata, darbha, water and flowers 
which the guru needs, must be brought and supplied 
(by the Sisya). 

2. Garhasthya. After the study of the Vedas the intelli- 
gent sisya gives Gurudaksina (Payment to the precep- 
tor) and with the consent of the Guru, enters into 
Grhasthasrama. Then he is to marry and by earning 
money from a suitable occupation, should fulfil all 
obligations of a Grhastha according to his capacity. 
The Grhastha who worships the Pitt's with Pindadana 
(offerings of rice balls), Devas with Yagas (sacrifices), 
Rsis with Svadhyaya (self discipline), Prajapatis with 
begetting of children, spirits with bali (offering of food 
etc.) and the whole world with love, attains the holy 
world by his own virtuous deeds. Grhasthasrama is the 
only source of support for sannyasis and brahmacarls 
who beg their food. Therefore feeding them is an act 
of nobility. Brahmanas travel from country to country 

to study Vedas, for pilgrimage and for seeing the places. 
The Grhastha is the only refuge and support of those 
who are homeless, who do not carry their food with 
them and those who spend the night wherever they 
reach. If such people come to his house, the Grhastha 
should welcome them with kind and loving words, and 
give them bed, seat and food. The guest who leaves a 
house disappointed, is really departing after transfer- 
ring his own sins to that householder and taking away 
all the virtuous deeds of the householder. It is not 
proper for the Grhastha to treat a guest with disrespect, 
to behave rudely or treacherously towards him, to regret 
what has been given to the guest, or to obstruct or 
rebuke him. The Grhastha who performs the supreme 
duty of Grhasthasrama in this way properly, is liberated 
from all secular bonds and reaches the noblest worlds. 

3. Vanaprastha. After having finished all his duties in 
this way, to his satisfaction, the Grhastha, with the 
commencement of old age, should go to the forest, either 
after entrusting his wife to his sons or taking her also 
with him. There, he should use leaves, roots and fruits 
for his food, grow hair and beard, sleep on the bare 
ground, lead the life of a tapasa and receive and honour 
all classes of guests. His clothes, sheets and blankets 
should be of deer-skin and darbha grass. The rule is 
that he should bathe three times a day. Worship of gods, 
performing homas, hospitality to all guests, mendicancy 
all these are the laudable features of Vanaprastha. 
Any oil that is available in the forest is to be used for 
his oil bath. Enduring heat and cold, performing tapas, 
are also his duties. The Muni who observes this rule in 
Vanaprastha with due austerity, burns up all his evils as 
with fire and attains the eternal worlds. 

4. Sannyasa. The fourth AsVama is that of the Sannyasl. 
Before entering upon the fourth Asrama one has to 
renounce the love of travel, wealth and wife and also 
give up all spirit of rivalry. One who embraces sann- 
yasa should abandon completely the efforts for the 
three Purusarthas of Dharma, Artha and Kama, treat 
friends and foes alike and continue to love all living 
beings. Not even a single creature should be offended 
by thought, word or deed. Conquering all passions, 
the Sannyasl should renounce all bonds and attach- 
ments. He should not stay in a village more than one 
night and in a town more than five nights. Even that 
should be in such a way that no one feels any love or 
hatred towards him. For sustaining life, he should go 
about begging food from the houses of the people of 
the three castes Brahmins, Ksatriyas and VaiSyas. It 
should be after all people have taken their food and 
put out the cooking fire. The Sannyasl should cast 
away all vices like Kama, Krodha, Garva, Lobha, and 
Moha and should not have any thought of self in any- 
thing. The Muni who goes about giving shelter to all 
creatures will not have to fear any creature. The 
Brahmana who follows the Sannyasasrama as described 
above with a pure heart and without difficulty will 
shine like fire without fuel and attain Brahmaloka in 

ASRAMAVASA PARVA. One of the Parvas in the 
Mahabharata. (See under Mahabharata) . 

ASRAMAVASIKA PARVA. One of the Parvas in the 
Mahabharata. (See under Mahabharata) . 

ASRAVYA. A muni (sage) in Indra's assembly. (M.B., 
Sabha Parva, Chapter 7, Verse 18). 



ASTlKA. The son of the Mahai si Jaratkaru and his wife, 
also named Jaratkaru. He stopped King Janamejaya's 
Sarpasatra and saved the nagas. 

1 ) Birth. There is a story about Astlka's birth in the 
Devi Bhagavata. Long ago the people of the world were 
so much troubled by the serpents, that they sought pro- 
tection from KasVapa Prajapati. To find a remedy for 
this, Kasyapa discussed the matter with Brahma. To 
put an end to the troubles from the serpents, Brahma 
suggested that a number of mantras and a deity as the 
basis of those mantras should be created. Accordingly 
Kasyapa created many mantras and Manasa Devi as the 
basic deity of those mantras. She is named "Manasa- 
devi" because Kasyapa created her by his mental 
power. ManasadevI has eleven other names also, name- 
ly Jaratkaru, Jagatgauri, SiddhayoginI, Vaisnavi, Naga- 
bhagini, Saivi, NagesVari, Jaratkarupriya, Astikamata, 
Visahara and Mahajnanayuta. 

ManasadevI (Jaratkaru) when quite young, went to 
Kailasa for doing tapas (penance) . There she did tapas 
to Siva for a thousand years. At last Siva appeared and 
blessed her with divine wisdom. She returned with 
great learning and devotion. (Devi Bhagavata, Navama 
Skandha) . 

At that time, a Muni (saga) named Jaratkaru, when 
travelling through the forest happened to see his pitrs 
(souls of forefathers) hanging over a precipice at 
the end of a blade of grass. They were hanging preca- 
riously at the end of a reed grass, head downwards, 
about to fall into the abyss. Jaratkaru enquired why 
they were lying in that condition. They explained that 
they were in that plight because their descendant 
Jaratkaru had no children. As he is a bachelor there 
is no hope either, of his having any issue. Since he 
has no children, we will not get to heaven, they added. 
To save the Pitrs from their predicament, Jaratkaru 
decided to marry. But he wished to marry a woman 
who had the same name as his. Once Vasuki met 
Jaratkaru and told him that he had a sister named 
Jaratkaru and that he would be very happy if Jaratkaru 
married her. Jaratkaru accepted the offer readily and 
married Jaratkaru. 

After their marriage, while they were living together 
in a place called Pus'cara tlrtha, an unexpected event 
happened which interrupted the happy course of their 
life. One evening, the husband was sleeping with his 
head in the wife's lap, under a tree. The sun was about 
to set. As the Maharsi did not wake up before sunset, the 
wife became anxious. It is believed that he who does not 
wake up before sunrise and he who does not offer pray- 
ers at dusk will be guilty of the sin of Brahmahatya (kill- 
ing a Brahmin) . Nor was it proper to wake him up from 
a sound sleep. But in the end, she did wake him up. 
The husband sprang up in great fury. He renounced 
the wife then and there. Weeping bitterly, she begged 
for his forgiveness. At last Jaratkaru relented and 
told her : "You will have a very noble, brilliant, re- 
nowned, virtuous, scholarly and devout son who will be 
a devotee of Visnu and a preserver of the family". 
After this ManasadevI set out to Kailasa. When she 
reached there Parami-Siva and Parvati comforted her. 
ManasadevI was pregnant. The precepts and spiritual 
advice given by Jaratkaru, Parama-Siva and Parvati 
were haard by the child in the wjmb and so even before 
his birth he became a Jftanl and a yogi. In due course 

Manasadevi gave birth to a son who was a part of 
Narayana (Visnu). Since he was the son of Manasa- 
devI who had deep devotion to the Guru and to the 
Gods, the boy was named Aulka. 

The Mahabharata, Adi Pat va, gives another reason for 
giving this name to the boy. When the sage Jaratkaru 
abandoned his wife, he had blessed her saying that the 
child in her womb would be a brilliant and devoted 
son. That is why this boy came to be called Astika. 

2) Boyhood Astika was taught Veda, Vedarhgas etc. 
by Parama-Siva himself. After receiving the blessings 
of Parama-Siva, Astika went to Puskara tlrtha and did 
tapas to Visnu for many years. Having received Visnu's 
blessings also, he returned to Kailasa. After living there 
happily with his mother for some time, one day they 
started to the Asrama of Kasyapa Prajapati, the 
father of ManasadevI. Kasyapa was very much pleased 
to see his noble-hearted daughter and her brilliant 
son. To enhance the fame and accomplishments of 
the boy Kas/apa gave a sumptuous feast to ten crores 
of Brahmins. (Devi Bhagavata, Navama Skandha) . 
Vasuki was Manasadevi's brother. Astika grew up 
there under the care of Vasuki. It was Cyavana Muni 
who taught Samgavedas to Astika, at this time. (M.B., 
Adi Parva, Chapter 48, Verse 18). 

3) Astika at the Sarpasatra. Once King Parlksit, the 
son of Abhimanyu was travelling through the forest for 
hunting animals. He picked up a dead snake with the 
tip of his bow and put it on the shoulder of a sage 
named "Samika". Samlka's son, Srrhgi came to know 
of this. In his anger, Srrhgi pronounced a curse that 
King Parlksit should die within seven days by the bite 
of Taksaka. When Parlksit heard of this, he had a 
palace built on a single pillar in the middle of the 
ocean, quite inaccessible to Taksaka and took shelter 
there. The most famous physicians and wizards were 
engaged to ward off the approach of Taksaka to that 
place. Six days passed like this. On the seventh day, 
determined to make a final attempt, Taksaka disguised 
himself as an old Brahmana and set out to the King's 
place of shelter. On his way he met Dhanvantari who 
was proceeding to Parlksit to protect him. They be- 
came friends and as a result of it, Dhanvantari returned 
after receiving a large number of rare precious stones 
given to him by Taksaka. Assuming the form of a small 
worm, Taksaka secretly entered into a fruit which was 
to be presented to the King. As soon as the King took 
that fruit in his hand, Taksaka took his own shape 
and size and bit the King who died immediately. 
Janamejaya was the son of this King Parlksit. 
Janamejaya performed all the obsequies of his father. 

After that, in a spirit of revenge, with the object of 
annihilating the whole race of serpents, he summoned 
Brahmanas to conduct a sarpa satra (snake sacrifice). 
In the sacrificial fire specially prepared at that yaga, 
many serpents were being burnt up. It seemed that the 
whole race of serpents would shortly be wiped out. 
But Taksaka alone was not to be seen. The officiating 
priests were beginning to get angry. Impatient cries 
of Where is Taksaka rent the air. The frightened 
Taksaka fled for life to the palace of his friend Indra 
and there lay down, curling round Indra's cot. When 
the priests understood this they decided to use their 
charms and mantras which would bring Indra, his bed, 
cot and all, along with Taksaka to the sacrificial fire. 


At this stage, all the gods rushed to Manasadevi and 
fell at her feet and begged her to save the situation. 
The kindheartcd Devi called her son Astlka and advis- 
ed him to persuade Janamejaya to stop the sarpa- 
satra. Astlka went to Janamejaya and requested him 
to give him the lives of Taksaka and Indra as a gift. 
Janamejaya, after consulting the munis and priests 
and at their advice, agreed to do so. In this way, the 
Sarpasatra was stopped and the remaining serpents 
escaped with their lives. (Devi Bhagavata, Navama 
Skandha, M.B., Adi Parva). 
ASTlKA PARVA. One of the Parvas in the Maha- 

bharata. See Mahabharata. 

ASURAM. A form of marriage. (See VIVAHA). 
ASURAYA> T A. A son of Visvamitra. (M.B., Anusasana 

Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 56) . 

ASURI. An ancient Maharsi. He was the acarya of 
Kapila Samkhyadarsana and the guru of the maharsi 
Pancasikha. Once Asuri had a full vision of God. He 
gave many precepts on spiritual matters to other 
Maharsis. The Bhagavata says that Asuri received his 
spiritual enlightenment from his wife, Kapila. (M.B., 
Sand Parva, Chapter 218, Verses 10-14). 
ASVALAYANA I. A son of Visvamitra. (M.B., Anu- 
sasana Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 54) . 

ASVALAYANA II. An Acarya. He was a disciple of 
Saunaka. Asvalayana composed three famous works : 
Asvalayana Grhyasutra, Asvalayana Srautasutia 
and Asvalayana Stuti. 

ATAK.A. A serpent born of the Kaurava dynasty. This 
serpent was burnt at the Sarpasatra of Janamejaya. 
(Sloka 12, Chapter 57, Adi Parva, M.B.) 
ATAVlPURI. An ancient city in India, Sahadeva con- 
quered this city. (M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 31, 
Verse 72). 

ATHARVAVA. A sage. When Arjuna dreamed of go- 
ing to Siva accompanied by Ki'sna they visited in the 
dream the asVama of this sage also. 
ATMADEVA. See under Gokarna. 
ATREYA. A sage. This sage had acquired the power 
to go from one planet to another. Once this rsi went 
to devaloka as the guest of Indra and there he drank 
Amrta (the celestial elixir) and enjoyed the dances of 
the celestial maidens A desire to have a similar heaven 
of his own budded in his mind and he approached 
Visvakarma who gave him a new heaven of his own. 
But before long the demons took over this heaven 
from him. Though Visvakarma took back the same 
from the demons, Atreya did not go back but returned 
to his old asrama on the banks of Gomati and doing 
penance there for a long time attained salvation 
(Brahma Purana). 

More details. Atreya was also present among the 
ascetics who assembled at the sarpasatra of Janameiaya 
(Sloka 8, Chapter 55 Adi Parva, M.B.). ' 

2) Atreya was a disciple of Vamadeva. (Sloka 6, Chan- 
ter 192, Vana Parva, M.B.) . 

3) This rsi taught his disciples about Nirgunabrahma. 
Sloka 7, Chapter 137, Anusasana Parva, M.B.). 

ATREYA(M). A place of ancient Bharata. (Sloka 68 
Chapter 9, Bhisma Parva, M.B.). 

ATREYl I. Wife of King Cm. Svayambhuva Manu 
got of his wife Satarupa two sons, Priyavrata and Uttana- 
pada. Uttanapada got a son named Uttatna of Suruci 
and one of name Dhruva of Sumti. Dhruva got three 



sons, Sis{i, Bhava and Sambhu. Sisti got five sons, Ripu 
Ripunjaya, Sipra, Vi'kala and Vrkatejas. Caksusa was, 
born to Ripu of his wife Brhati. Manu was born to 
Caksusa of his wife Vlram. Urn was the son of Manu. 
Uru got of Atreyi Aiiga, Sumanas, Svati, Kratu, 
Aiigiras and Gaya. (Chapter 18, Agni Purana). 
ATRliYl II. A river. (Sloka 22, Chapter 9, Sabha 

Parva, M.B.) . 
ATREYl III. Anasuya, wife of Atri is also called 


ATREYl IV. Daughter of Maharsi Atri. She was married 
to Ahgiras, son of Agni. Aiigiras always spoke rudely to 
her and pained at this she once approached her father 
and told him about this. Her father told her thus : 
"Your husband is the son of Agni. That is why he 
appears unbearable to you. Therefore give him a cold 
bath always and he wo_uld gradually become mild." 
Hearing this the devout Atreyi transformed herself into 
a river and started to cool him down by constant 
showers. This river later on became the famous Parusni 
_ Nadl. (Brahmanda Purana) . 
AVAHA. A Vayu. (M.B'., Santi Parva, Chapter 328 

Verse 37) . 

AVANTIKA. Daughter of Yaugandhariyana, a famous 
character in the story of Udayana. (See under Yau^an- 
dharayana ) . 
AVARAyA. A King of Visvakarma's dynasty. 

Genealogy. From Visnu were born in the following 
order : Brahma - Dharma - Prabhasa-VisVakarma-Priya- 
Bharata married the world-beauty, Pancajanl. Five 
children, Sumati, Rastrabhrt, Sudarsana, Avarana, and 
Dhiimraketu were born to her. (Bhagavata, Dasama 
Skandha) . 

AVARTANANDA. A sacred Tlrtha. One who bathes in 
this tirtha will be able to enjoy life in Nandanavana. 
(M.B., Anuslsana Parva, Chapter 25, Verse 45). 
AVASlRA. A place in ancient India. It is said that 
Kama conquered this place. (M.B., Vana Parva 
Chapter 254, Verse 9) . 
AVASTHYA. An Agni. (M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 

221, Verse 5). 
AVIRHOTRA. A king of Visvakarma's dynasty. 

Genealogy. From Visnu were descended in the following 
order : Brahma - Dharma-Prabhasa-Visvakarma-Barhis- 
Jayanti, Rsabha's wife bore to him twenty children who 
were : Bharata, Kuslvarta, Ilavarta, Brahmavarta, 
Aryavarta, Malaya, Ketu, Bhadrasena, Indrasprk, 
Vidarbha, Klkata, Kavi, Hari, Antarlksa, Prabuddha, 
Pippalayana, Avirhotra, Dramida, Camasa and Kara- 
bhajana. The eldest of them, Bharata, became the ruler 
of India. From him this country came to be called 
'BHARATA". All the younger brothers ruled over the 
_ different parts of this country. 

AYATI. A daughter of Mahameru. Two daughters were 
born to Mahameru, Ayati and Niyati. Ayati was married 
by Dhatl and Niyati by Vidhata. Dhata and Vidhata 
are the two sons born to Bhrgu Maharsi of his wife 
Khyfiti. Dhata got a son, Prana, of Ayati and Vidhata, 
a son, Mrkandu of Niyati. Prfna got 'a son Dyutiman 
and he got a ton Rajavan. (Chapter 10, Arhsam 1 , Visnu 

AYAVASA. A King. There is mention about this king 
in Sakta 128, Mandala 1 of the Rgveda. 


AYOGAVA. A special caste of people. Their profession 
was drama acting. They were adepts in handicrafts. See 
under Caturvarnyam. (Chapter 151, Agni Purana). 

AYODHADHAUMYA. See under Ayodhadhaumya. 

AYRAjAS. Name of a class of Kings. Till the beginning 
of the 10th century A.D. Ayrajas were a prominent 
political force in Kerala. They ruled over a huge area in 
S. Kerala (S. Travancore) till the time of the Venad 
dynasty coming into power. 

AYUDHA PAR IKS A. A test in the skill of archery was 
conducted when the Pandavas and Kauravas finished 
their study at the feet of Dronacarya. This is described 
beautifully in Chapter 134 of adi Parva, M.B. 

AYURVEDA. It is the science which the sage Dhan- 
vantari taught SuSruta. This describes all the diseases 
and the treatment meant for them. Ailments are of four 
kinds : Saririka refers to fever, skin diseases etc., Mana- 
sika refers to those arising out of anger ; Agantuka 
refers to cuts wounds and injuries, and Sahaja refers to 
hunger, thirst, old age, etc. (Chapters 279 to 286, Agni 
Purana). Refer Dhanvantari for more details. 
AYUS I. Son of Pururavas and father of Nahusa. 

1 ) Genealogy. Descending in order from Visnu Brahma- 

Ayus was born to Pururavas of Urvasl. To Ayus was 
born of his wife Svarbhanavi Nahusa. (Sloka 24, Chapter 
7, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

2) Birth of the son. See under Nahusa. 

3) Other details. Ayus was a king who had acquired 
great power by penance. (Sloka 15, Chapter 296, Santi 
Parva, M.B. ). 

AYUS II. One who was the king of frogs. SuSobhana 
was the daughter of this frog-king. Susobhana was 
married to King Pariksit. For the interesting story of 
the marriage of a king with a frog see under Pariksit II. 

AYUSMAN. KaSyapa, son of Marici, got two sons, 
Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakasipu and a daughter Simhika, 
of his wife Diti. Simhika became the wife of Vipracitti. 
Of her were born the celebrated asuras, Sairhhikeyas, 
of which Rahu was one. HiranyakaSipu had four brave 
sons, Anuvrata, Vrata, Prahlada and Sarhhrada. Of 
these Vrata got a son Vrata, Samhrada got Ayusman, 
Sibi, and Baskala and Prahlada got a son, Virocana. 
Mahabali was the son of Virocana. (Chapter 19, Agni 


BABHRAVYA. An author of the 'Science of Love'. 
Svetaketu was the first of the authors who had written 
on the Science of amour (Kama-Sistra). Babhravya 
made only a condensation of the work ofSvetaketu. 

BABHRAVYAM. A clan or gotra of Brahmanas in 
Ancient India. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, Santi 
Parva, Chapter 342, Stanza 103 that the hermit Galava 
belonged to this clan. 

BABHRU I. A maharsi of the line of preceptors from 
Vyasa. (See Guruparampara). 

BABHRU II. A Yadava of the Vrsni dynasty. He was 
one of the ablest of Yadava warriors. (Chapter 14, 
Daksinatya Patham, M.B.). Even in his old age he 
used to do penance. SiSupala carried away his wife when 
once he was away in Dvaraka. He was a friend of Sri 
Krsna. He died when hit by an arrow from Vyasa. 
(Chapter 4, Mausala Parva, M.B.). 


BABHRU III. A king ofKaSi. By the help of Sri Krsna 
he attained Rljyalaksml. (Chapter 28, Udyoga Parva, 

BABHRU IV. A son of King Virata. (Sloka 33, Chapter 
57, Udyoga Parva, M.B.) . 

BABHRU V. One of the sons of Visvamitra who were 
Brahmavadls. (Sloka 50, Chapter 4, Anusasana Parva. 

BABHRUDAIVAVRDHA. A Yadava king. The informa- 
tion from Puranas available about him is given below : 

1) This Rajarsi was an adept in the art of yajna. He 
was a disciple of Narada and Parvata Maharsi. (Aita- 
reya Brahmana 7.34). 

2) He was a Yadava of the Vrsni dynasty and one of the 
seven noted ministers of the Yadu line of Kings. (Sabha 
Parva, M.B.). 

3) At the time of the kidnapping of Subhadra Babhru- 
daivavrdha was partaking in a grand festival at the 
mountain ofRaivataka. (Chapter 211, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

4) When once this Rajarsi went on a visit to Krsna, 
SiSupala carried away his wife. (Chapter 42, Sabha 
Parva, M.B.) . 

5) When in the end theYadavas in Dvaraka quarrelled 
with each other and were destroyed, the plight of the 
Yadava ladies became miserable. Then Sri Krsna 
entrusted Dvaraka and Babhrudaivavi'dha with the task 
of taking care of them. But in the battle of the maces 
he was killed with a mace thrown at him. (Chapter 5, 
Mausala Parva, M.B.) . 

BABHRUMALI. A sage. He was a lively member of the 

Sabha of Yudhisthira. (Sloka 16, Chapter 4, Sabha 

Parva, M.B.). 
BABHRUSETU. A Gandhara king. He was the brother 

of Druhyu and father ofPurovasu. (Chapter 277, Agni 

Purana ) . 

BABHRUVAHANA. A son of Arjuna. 

1) Birth. When the Pandavas were residing in Indra- 
prastha after marrying Pancali, Narada went to see 
thm once. With a view to avoiding any quarrel bet- 
ween the Pandavas over the one wife they jointly possess- 
ed, Narada suggested that each should take Pancali 
for a year in turn and he who violated the arrange- 
ment should go to the forest for a year. Once Arjuna 
went to the house of Yudhisthira who was with Pancali 
and for thus violating the arrangement Arjuna had to 
go to the forest for a year. During this exile while he 
was staying at Gangadvara he married the serpent girl, 
Ulupi and got a son called Iravan of her. 
After that he went to a country called Manalur. At 
that time that country was being ruled by a king called 
Citrangada. Prabhanjana one of the forefathers of 
Citrangada had, by hard penance for a progeny, acquir- 
ed from Siva a boon and each of his successors got a 
son each to maintain the line. But when it came to 
Citrangada to his surprise he got a girl instead of a son. 
But he got her up as a son and named her Citrangada. 
It was when she was ready for marriage that Arjuna 
went there. The king received Arjuna with respect and 
after enquiring about his welfare requested him to marry 
his daughter. Arjuna married her and stayed there for 
three months. Leaving that place Arjuna went to 
Pancatirtha and there he gave salvation to the celestial 
maidens who were lying in the tirthas as crocodiles. 
When he went back to Manalur Citrangada had deli- 
vered a son whom he named Babhruvahana. Promising 


them that he would take them later to Hastinapura, he 
left the place. 

2) His fate to kill his own father. It was by a ruse that 
Arjuna made Bhisma fall. Arjuna put Sikhandi before 
his chariot and Bhisma refused to take arms against a 
eunuch and accepted defeat. But Gaiigadevi witnessing 
the battle between Bhisma, her son, and Arjuna from 
above could not bear this foul play and so cursed that 
Arjuna would die at the hands of his son. Ulupi the 
serpent wife of Arjuna heard this curse and went to her 
father Kauravya who in turn went to Gaiiga and begged 
for a relief from the curse. Gaiigadevi then said that 
Arjuna would be killed by Babhruvahana but would be 
brought to life by Ulupi by placing the Mftasanjlvani 
stone on the dead man's breast. 

3) The killing of Arjuna. The Mahabharata battle was 
over. When Yudhisthira was performing the Asvamedha 
yaga Arjuna conducted a victory march with the yaga 
horse. On his way he reached Manalur. At once Ulupi 
called Babhruvahana and asked him to challenge Arjuna. 
Babhruvahana with his bow and arrows attacked Arjuna 
and in the grim battle that followed Arjuna fell dead. 
Seeing this Citraiigada came to the place of battle 
weeping and abused Ulupi for persuading Babhruvahana 
to kill his own father. Ulupi immediately went to the 
serpent world and brought the Mrtasanjivani stone and 
as she placed it on Arjuna's breast he came to life as if 
waking up from a sleep. When he saw Citrarigada, 
Babhruvahana and Ulupi he smiled and asked them 
why they had all come there. Ulupi then explained to 
him the story of the curse and extremely pleased over 
the end of the curse Arjuna took them all to Hastina- 
pura. (Chapters 218 to 210 of Adi Parva and Chapters 
79 to 82 of Asvamedha Pawa, M.B.). 
4) Other details. (1 ) On reaching Hastinapura Sri Krsna 
gave Babhruvahana as a present a chariot drawn by 
divine horses. (Sloka 6, Chapter 88, AsVamedha 
Parva, M.B.) . 

(2) The diffeient names given to him in the Puranas are 
as follows : Citrangadasuta, Manippurpati, Dhananjaya- 
suta and Manipuresvara. 

holy place in the Himalayas. It was here that Nara and 
Narayana did penance for thousands of years and the 
Puranas, therefore, give it a very prominent place in 

sacred place in Kuruksetra. If one lives here fasting for 
twelve years eating dates only, one will become as 
great as Vasistha. (Chapter 83,'Vana Parva, M.B.). 
BADARlVANA. A sacred place. ViSalapurl an ancient 
city of puranic fame is near this place. The Badarik- 
asYama comprises Badarivana and Visalapurl also. 
BADAVAGNI. See under Aurva. 

BADHIRA. A serpent of the Kasyapa dynasty. (There 
is a reference to this serpent in Sloka 16, Chapter 74, 
Udyoga Parva. M.B.) . 

BADULI. A son of Visvamitra. He was a follower of 
the Brahma cult. (M.B., AnuSasana Parva, Chapter 4, 
Stanza 53). 

BAHIRGIRI. A mountainous region of ancient Bharata. 
Mention is made in Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 27, Stanza 3 that this country lying in the 
vicinity of the Himalayas had been conquered by Arjuna 
during his conquest of the North, 


BAHU I. A king of the Surya-varhsa (solar dynasty) . He 
was the father of Sagara. He is known by the name 
Subahualso. This king was once defeated in a battle and 
being weary and sad he entered the hermitage of Aurva. 
His queen was given poison by another wife of the 
King. But the child in her womb did not die. The queen 
wanted to jump into the fire in which the body of her 
husband was to be burned. But Aurva told her that her 
son would become a famous king and that she should 
not commit suicide. Thus she desisted from committing 
suicide. A son was born to her. As she had been poison- 
ed when the child was in her womb the son was given 
the name Sagara (with poison) . It is said in Maha- 
bharata, Adi Parva that this prince became a famous 
king later. 

BAHU II. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Udyoga 
Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 22, that the Pandava's thought 
of sending an invitation to a king named Bahu for the 
battle between the Kurus and themselves. 
BAHU III. A king of the Sundara dynasty. Mention is 
made about this king in Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva 
Chapter 74. 

BAHUBHA.RYATVA. (Polygamy). Polygamy was a 
custom in vogue in ancient India. It was not prohibit- 
ed for a man to have more than one wife. It was 
customary to give dowry also. It is said in the Rgveda, 
Mandala 10, Anuvaka 3, Sukta 1 1 that the bride should 
proceed to the house of the husband, after the marriage. 
A spell (mantra) meant for keeping down one's co-wife, 
is seen in the Rgveda, Mandala 10, Anuvaka 11, Sukta 
17. It is a prayer to destroy the love of husband for a 
co-wife and to direct that love towards oneself. The 
deity of this spell is Indrani the wife of Indra who was 
a polygamist. In those days marriage was an essential 
duty. Widow marriage was not forbidden. 
BAHUDA. A holy bath. If one stays in this place for a 
night in celibacy and fast, one will get the fruits of 
performing a sacrifice to devas (gods). The modern 
investigators say that this place is on the bank of river 
Dhavala which flows near Avadhi. It is mentioned in 
Mahabharata, Santi Parva, Chapter 23 that the hermit 
Likhita had recovered his lost hand, by bathing in this 
holy place and giving oblations to his ancestors. 
BAHUDAMA. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B., 

Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 10). 
BAHUDANTAKA. A book on the science of Ethics (Niti- 
astra) , the work of Brahma. It contains ten thousand 
chapters. This book was abridged into five thousand 
chapters by Purandara. (M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 69, 
Stanza 83). 

BAHUDANTl. Mother of Purandara who was the Indra 
during the Manvantara (Period of a Manu ) of Manu 
Vaivasvata. (See the word Purandara). 
BAHUDASUYAS" A. The wife of Pariksit, a King of the 
Kuru dynasty. A son named Bhlmasena was born to her 
(M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 95). 
BAHUGAVA. A king born of the family of Yayati. 

(Bhagavata, Skandha 9 ) . 

BAHUKA I. A serpent born in the family of Kauravya. 
This snake fell in the sacrificial fire of Janamejaya and 
was burnt to death. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 57, 
Stanza 13). 

BAHUKA II. The pseudo-name assumed by Nala when 
he was living in the palace of Rtuparna in disguise. 
For further information see the word Nala. 



BAHUKA III. A mighty hero of the family of the 
\ rsiiis About this Bahuka, mention is made in Maha- 
bhafata, Vana Parva, Chapter 129, Stanza 19. 

BAHULA I. A river. In Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, 
Chapter 9, Stanza 29, mention is made about this river 
which is famous in the Puranas. 

BAHULA II. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B., 
Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 3). 

BAHULA HI. Wife of Vidura a Brahmin, who frequented 
the houses of harlots. Bahula was in the habit of going 
to the temple of Gokarna and hear Puranas, after the 
death of her husband. By this good deed Vidura got 
deliverance from sin. (Skanda Purana 3.3.22). 

BAHULASVAN 1. A king of the family of Sri Rama. 
(Bhagavata, Skandha 9) . 

BAHULASVAN II. A king of Mithila. He was god- 
fearing. Once Sri Krsna visited his palace. At that time 
he received much good advice from Sri Krsna. (Bhaga- 
vata, Skandha 10). 

B \HUMULAKA. A serpent born to Kasyapa Prajapati 
of his wife Kadru. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 35, 
Stan/a 16). 

BAHUPUTRA. A Prajapati (creator) . He was one ot 
the spiritual sons (Manasaputras) of Brahma. (Vayu 
Purana 65:53). 

BAHUPUTR1KA. An attendant (female) oi bubrah- 
manya. (M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 3) . 

BAHURATHA. A king of the family of Bharata. 
(Bhagavata, Skandha 9) . 

B \HURDPA. One of the eleven Rudras. Eleven 
Rudras were born to Kasyapa by his wife Surabhi. 
Surabhi, who had been purified by Mahesvara whom 
she had pleased by her penance, got as sons, Aja, 
Ekapad, Ahirbudhnya, Tvastr and Rudra.The renown- 
ed Visvarupa was the son of Tvastr. The eleven 
Rudras are Kara, Bahurupa, Tryambaka, Aparajita, 
Vrsakapi, Sambhu, Kapardin, Raivata, Mi'gavyadha, 
Sarpa and Kapalin The number of the Rudras is one 
hundred lakhs. They pervade everything moving and 
not moving. (Agni Purana, Chapter 18). 

BAHUSALI. A prince of Avanti. He was a friend ot bri- 
datta. (For further information see the word Sridatta) . 

BAHUSUVARYAKA. An ancient city on the bank of 
the Ganges. (Kathasaritsagara) . 

BAHUVADYA. A country in ancient India. Mention 
is made about this country in Mahabharata, Bhisma 
Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 55. 

BAKU VIDHA. A king of the family of Anga. (Agni 
Purana, Chapter 277). 

BAHUYOJANA. An attendant of Subrahmanya. (M.B., 
' Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 9). 

BAHV\Sl. One of the hundred sons of Dhr'tarastra. It 
is mentioned in Mahabharata, Bhisma Parva, Chapter 
28 that he was killed by Bhimasena in the battle oi 

B\HYAKAR""A. A serpent born to Kasyapa Prajapati 
' of his wife, Kadru. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 35, 
Stanza 9) . 


BAHYAKU.NDA. A serpent born in the family of Kas- 
yapa Prajapati. Mention is made about this serpent in 
Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 103. 

BAHYASVAN. A king of the Puru dynasty. He was the 
son of King Purujati. Five sons were born to Bahyas- 
van called Mukula, Srnjaya, Brhadistha, Yavinara and 
Krtnila. These five sons became famous as Pancalas. 
Of these, the family of Mukula became the Mauku- 
lyas, who were having temples and were of two classes. 
A son named Paftcasva was born to Mukula. A son 
named Divodasa and a daughter named Ahalya were 
born to PancaSva. Ahalya got with child from the 
hermit Saradvata and gave birth to a son named Sata- 
nanda. (Agni Purana, Chapter 278) . 

BAKA. Daughter of'the demon, Sumali. He had four 
daughters : Baka, Puspotkata, Kaikasi and Kumbhi- 
nadi. Ravana is the son of Kaikasi. (Uttara Rama- 
yana ) . 

BAKA I. A demon. The Pandavas escaping from the 
trap of Arakkilla (lac-house) through a secret tunnel 
went to the village Ekacakra on the banks of the 
river Gaiiga and stayed there in the house of a brahmin. 
Baka was a demon who was terrorising the villagers 
there. He used to come to the village freely and carry 
away people for his food. Because of this nobody lived 
in peace and so they all joined together and decided 
to send one man daily with plenty of other eatables to 
the demon in this cave. Days went by like that and 
one day the turn came to the brahmin who was shelter- 
ing the Pandavas. That brahmin had besides his wife 
one son and a daughter. The problem arose as to who 
should go to the demon. The father was willing but 
the wife did not want him to go and vice versa. The 
children began to cry and hearing the noise Kunti, 
mother of the Pandavas, went there to enquire and 
learned, the tragic story of the family. She immediately 
went to Bhima and acquainted him with the problem 
before the brahmin. Bhima at once volunteered to go 
to the demon deciding to kill the man-eater and thus 
putting an end to his depredations. 
Bhima started on his journey to the demon carrying a 
cartload of rice and curry. Deliberately Bhima arrived 
at the place of the demon very late. Baka rolled his 
eyes in anger at the sight of the late-comer. But 
Bhima without heeding him sat in front of the demon 
and started eating the rice and curry. Baka charged 
at Bhima with fury but Bhima defended and a battle 
ensued in which Baka was killed and he fell dead 
like a mountain-head dropping down.* (Chapters 157- 
164, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

BAKA II. A demon. As young boys Sri Krsna and 
Balaramabhadra were once playing in Ambadi (Goku- 
la) on the banks of the river Yamuna when ( the 
demon, Baka, despatched by Kamsa, went to them in 
the form of a huge terrible-looking stork. In no time 
opening its ferocious beaks the stork swallowed Krsna. 
But the touch of Kr-sna burnt the throat of the bird 
and vomitting Ki'sna the bird fell dead. 

Kirmtra a demon, was the brother of Baka. (Sloka 23, Chapter ,1, Aranya Parva, M.B.). 

/It is in the ,oth Skandha of Bhagavata that the story of this Baka occur,. But in the vernacular translate of the same the story, 
not so clear. Hence the original in Sanskrit is quoted below : 

Sa vai Bako nama mahanasuro bakarupadnrk 
Agatya sahasa Krsnam tiksnatundo 'grasadbah 
Krsnam mahabakagrastarh drstva Ramadayo 'rbhakah 
Babhuvurindriyaniva vina pranam vicetasah. 




BAKA III. (Bakadalbhya) . The great sage who poured 
into the sacrificial fire the country of King Dhrtarastra. 
For details see under Dalbhya. 

BALA. A sacred incantation. (See Atibala). 

BALA I. (VALA) . A demon born to Kasyapa Prajapati 
of his wife Danayu. This demon had three brothers: 
Viksara, Vira and Vrtra. It was this Bala who later on 
became the king of Pandyadesa. (Sloka 42, Chapter 
67, Sloka 33; Chapter 65', Adi Parva, M.B.) . 
Chapter 168 of Vana Parva states that this Bala was 
killed by Indra. (For details see Vala) . 

BALA II. A deva born to Varuna of his elder brother's 
wife. (Sloka 52, Chapter 66, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

BALA III. The son born to Parlksit of the Iksvaku 
dynasty of the daughter of MandukarSja. This Bala 
had two wives, Sala and Dala. (S'loka 38, Chapter 192, 
Vana Parva, M.B.) . 

BALA IV. A monkey. In the battle with Kumbhakarna 
this monkey did many brave deeds. (Sloka 6, Chapter 
287, Vana Parva, M.B.) . 

BALA V. One of the two warriors whom Vayu Bhagavan 
gave as a gift to Subrahmanya. The name of the other 
was Atibala. (Sloka 44, Chapter 91, Salya Parva, 

BALA VI. A Maharsi of ancient Bharata. He was the 
son of Maharsi Arigiras. (Sloka 27, Chapter 208, Santi 
Parva, M.B.) . 

BALA VII. A sanatana Visvadeva. (Sloka 30, Chapter 
91, Anusasana Parva, M.B.) . 

BALA VIII. A parsada of Visnu. When Vamana trampl- 
ed over the head of emperor Bali and sent him to 
the underworld, the followers of Bali ascended the 
yajna mandala and created a commotion. Bala was 
one of the parsadas who then came to the scene to 
quell the trouble. (Astama Skandha, Bhagavata) . 

BALA IX. A son of Mayasura. He lived in a place in 
the netherlands called Atala. He created ninetysix 
different kinds of magic and gave them to the asura 
magicians who by the use of them gave the devas 
immense trouble. 

Once when Balasura yawned three bad women, Svairim, 
KaminI and PumscalT were born. They had with them 
a potable substance called Hataka which they gave to 
men whom they liked and after enlivening the sex 
impulse in them enjoyed a sexual life with them to 
their heart's content. ( Pancama Skandha, Bhagavata) . 
Once during a fight between Indra and Jalandhara 
Bala defeated Indra in a pathetic way. Indra then sought 
refuge in him and praised him with songs. Flattered 
by this Bala asked Indra to ask of him whatever he 
wanted and the sly Indra requested for the physical 
body of Bala. Without the least hesitation Bala cut his 
body into pieces and gave him. Indra threw away the 
cut pieces to different sides and all the places where 
these pieces fell were at once transformed into Diamond 

After the death of Balasura his wife Prabhavati went 
to their preceptor (Kulaguru) Sukracarya and told 
him all that took place and requested to bring back to 
life her lost husband. But Sukracarya regretted that he 
could not give life again to her dead husband but could 
by his powers make her hear his voice again. Prabha- 
vati agreed to that and then she heard her husband say 
"Leave your body and join me". Prabhavati immediate- 
ly courted death and joining Bala became a river. 
(Padma Purana, Uttara Khanda, Chapter 6). 

BALA(M). To know what are Dasabalas see under 

BALABANDHU. A king of ancient Bharata. _There is a 
reference to him in Sloka 236, Chapter 1, Adi Tarva, 

BALABHADRA. (Balabhadrarama, Balarama, Baladcva). 
The elder brother of Sri Ki'sna and the eighth incarna- 
tion of Mahavisnu.* 

1 ) Birth. When the number of wicked kings increased 
BhiimidevI (goddess of Earth) turned herself into a cow 
and took refuge in Mahavisnu. Mahavisnu then pro- 
mised to be born as the sons of Vasudeva named Bala- 
bhadrarama and Sri Krsna and destroy the wicked. 
Vasudeva was the son of the Yadava, Surasena. King 
of Madhura. To Devaka the brother of another Yadava 
King, Ugrasena, was , bdrn a daughter Devaki. The 
marriage of DevakI with Vasudeva was celebrated but 
on the same day an Asaririm (a heavenly voice from 
above) said that the eighth child of DevakI would 
kill Kamsa. Instantly Karhsa put both Vasudeva and 
Devaki in jail. The first six sons born to Devaki were 
killed the moment they were born by striking them 
against the ground. Devaki became pregnant for the 
seventh time. The babe in the womb was Ananta in- 
carnate by Visnu 's directive to be of help to him when 
he would also be born soon as Krsna. Therefore it 
was necessary to save the child from the cruel hands 
of Karhsa as it was certain he would kill the babe the 
same way he had killed all the others before. So he 
ordered Mayadevi to take the child from the womb of 
DevakI and place it in that of RohinI, another wife of 
Vasudeva. Mayadevi did so and the boy got the name 
Samgharsana, also because of this. The news spread 
that DevakI aborted. RohinI delivered a boy and was 
named Samgharsana alias Balabhadrarama. (Dasama 
Skandha, Bhagavata) . 

2) The colour of Balarama and Sri Krsna. Sri Krsna is 
the eighth child of Devaki. The elder brother Balarama 
is white in complexion while the younger, Sri Krsna is 
black in complexion. There is a story behind this. The 
devas decided to be born as Gopalas (shepherds) in the 
earth to be of help to Krsna in his duty of killing the 
wicked. They informed Mahavisnu of their decision 
and the Lord was immensely pleased. He then took 
one white hair from his head and said that it would go 
to Rohini's womb and change into Balarama and 

Tarn talumulam pradahantamagnivad 
Gopalasunum pitaram jagadguroh 
Gacchardda sadyo 'tirusaksatam Baka- 
Stundena bantum punarabhyapadyata 
Tamapatantam sa nigrhya tundayor 
Dorbhyam Bakam Karhsasakbam satam patih. 
Pasyatsu balesu dadara lilaya 
Mudavaho viranavaddivaukasam. 

*c: n , . ,L ,. P ,. (Chapter n, Dasama Skandha, Bhagavata). 

with that of Krsna 'bhadra 1S so mixed with that of Krsna a complete life story of Balarama could be had only if it is read along 




taking a black hair said that it would go into Devaki's 
womb and change into Sri Krsna. It was thus that 
Balabhadra became white and Sri Krsna black. (Chap- 
ter 199, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

3) Brothers. Balabhadrarama had six brothers born of 
his mother Rohi^I. They were : Gada, Sarana, Durd- 
dama, Vipula, Dhruva, and Krta. (Navama Skandha, 
Bhagavata) . 

4) Till their marriage Sri Krsna spent his childhood 
in Ariibadi and Balarama, in Madhura. Once the sage 
Garga went to the house of Vasudeva and it was he 
who then told the story behind the births of Balarama 
and Krsna. Hearing this Vasudeva went to Madhura 
and brought Balabhadrarama also to Ariibadi. Garga- 
muni then performed all those sacred rites which were 
usually done to boys of that age and both of them then 
remained in Ariibadi. Several important events happen- 
ed during their stay here, notable among which are : 
Putanamoksam (killing of the demoness Putana and 
giving her salvation). Sakafasuravadha (killing the 
asura, Saka(a), Trnavarttavadha (killing the asura, 
Trnavartta) , Vatsasuravadha (killing the asura, 
Vatsa) , Bakavadha ( killing the demon bird, Baka) , 
Aghasuravadha (killing the asura, Agha) , Dhenuka- 
suravadha (killing the asura, Dhenuka), Kaliamardana 
(beating the snake, Kalia) and Pralambavadha (killing 

Pralamba). (See under Krsna for more details). 

Kariisa conducted a Capapuja (worship of the bow) to 
kill Krsna. It was on a festive scale and both Krsna and 
Balarama went to Madhura to attend the same. There 
they killed Kariisa and after that went to the aSrama 
of Sandipani Maharsi for education. When they complet- 
ed their education they at the request of the preceptor 
gave as Gurudaksina (The fee you pay in the end for 
the instructions given) the lost child of the guru. Then 
they went to Madhura and there several events took 
place, important among which was the fight between 
Kfsna and Jarasandha. By this time the Yadavas 
were becoming lean financially and so to make some 
money Krsna and Rama went to the diamond-infested 
mountain of Gomantaka. On their way they met 
ParaSurama doing penance under a Banyan tree. On 
the advice of Parasurama they killed Srgalavasudeva 
and got immense wealth. On their return Rama and 
Ki'sna along with many Yadavas went and settled down 
in the island, Dvaraka, in the western ocean. (Dasama 
Skandha, Bhagavata) . 

5 ) Marriage. Before the advent of Balarama and Krsna 
the island Dvaraka was known as KuSasthall. It was 
ruled over by a famous Rajarsi, Revata. This king was 
the son of King Anartta and grandson of emperor 
Saryati. Revata got a hundred sons, Kukudmin being 
the first and a daughter named Revati. When the time 
for marriage of his daughter came the King was anxious 
to find out a fitting husband for her and he went to 
Brahmaloka to take the advice of Brahma. Revati also 
accompanied him. There stupefied he saw Vedas, Yajnas, 
mountains, rivers, oceans, Rtus, all in divine figures 
standing before Brahma, worshipping him. The sweet 
celestial songs gave them both untold happiness. He 
then told Brahma the purpose of his visit and Brahma 
meditating for some time told him that Balabhadrarama, 
son of Vasudeva, was the only one person suited for 
her. The king returned to Dvaraka and gave his 

daughter in marriage to Balarama. (Saptama Skandha, 
Devi Bhagavata) . 

6) A pilgrimage. When the great Pandava-Kaurava 
battle started Krsna became the charioteer of Arjuna 
and Balarama went to the forest, Naimisa. He was not 
much interested in the battle. At the forest of Naimisa 
he saw Suta telling Puranic stories to the several sages 
assembled there before him. Suta did not rise up when 
he saw Balarama and the latter moved to anger very 
soon cut off the head of Suta. The sages assembled there 
decried the act of Balarama and lamented deeply over 
the incident. At this Balarama promised that he would 
give birth, from the dead body of Suta, to one who will 
be well versed in all the Vedas, sastras and sciences. The 
sages then blessed Balarama. 

During that time there lived in the vicinity of Naimisa 
forest a demon called Balvala (Vatkala). He used to 
annoy the sages there and the sages requested Bala- 
rama to put a stop to the atrocities of that demon. He 
immediately killed the demon by his weapon, Hala, 
and then raised from the dead body of Suta a pandita 
of great erudition. Later, to remedy the sin of killing 
Suta, Balarama, repentant, visited all the sacred places 
in Bharata. Once when he heard about the grim battle 
between Duryodhana and Bhimasena, he went to the 
battle-field and tried his best to stop the war. Dis- 
appointed he returned to Dvaraka. (Dasama Skandha, 
Chapter 79, Bhagavata) . 

7) Death. Once the rsis Narada, Kanva and Visva- 
mitra came to Dvaraka. To make fun of them some of 
the Yadavas dressed a Yadava like a pregnant woman 
and producing her before the sages asked them what 
child she would deliver. Enraged at this the munis 
said in one voice that she would deliver a mace and that 
iron mace would be the cause of the end of all 

After the Mahabhiirata battle the Yadava dynasty re- 
mained alive only for thirtysix years. After that by 
the curse of the brahmin the Yadavas were all killed in 
a drunken brawl between themselves in the very pre- 
sence of Krsna and Balabhadra. This happened on the 
shore of Prabhasa tlrtha and Balarama was sitting 
there then in deep meditation. Suddenly the soul of 
Balarama went out from his mouth in the shape of a 
white serpent and the serpent entering the nether world 
was given a warm welcome by the prominent serpents 
there. (Mausala Parva, M.B. ). 
8) Other details. 

(1) It was Balabhadrarama who taught Bhimasena the 
mace-fight. (Sloka 4, Chapter 138, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

(2) Balabhadrarama was present along with Sri Krsna 
at the marriage of Pancall. (Sloka 1 7, Chapter 185, 
Adi Parva, M.B.). 

(3 ) Balabhadrarama became very indignant when he 
heard about Arjuna carrying away Subhadra and it was 
Krsna who pacified him. (Chapter 22, Adi Parva, M.B. ). 

(4) He was present at the marriage of Abhimanyu 
conducted at the city of Upaplavya. (Sloka 21, Chapter 
72, Virata Parva, M.B.) . 

(5 ) He was very insistent that the Panda vas and Kau- 
ravas should come to a truce. ( Chapter 2 ; Udyoga 
Parva, M.B.). 

(6) He witnessed the battle of maces between Duryo- 
dhana and Bhimasena at Kuruksetra. (Chapter 34, 
Salya Parva, M.B.). 




(7) Balarama conducted a pilgrim tour and visited all 
the holy places of Bharata at a time when the Pandava- 
Kaurava war was in full swing. (Chapter, 35-54, Salya 
Parva, M.B.) . 

(8) Balarama was of opinion that it was unjust ofBhima- 
sena to have killed Duryodhana and was about to kill 
Bhimasena. (Sloka 4, Chapter 60, Salya Parva, M.B.) . 

(9) Once Balarama spoke in extolling terms about the 
secrets of Dharma. (Sloka 17, Chapters 126, Salya 
Parva, M.B.). 

(10) It was Balarama who performed the obsequies of 
Abhimanyu. (Sloka 6, Chapter 62, Asvamedha Parva, 

(11) He went to Hastinapura when Yudhisthira per- 
formed the Asvamedha yaga. (Sloka 4, Chapter 66, 
Asvamedha Parva, M.B.) . 

(12) Balarama introduced Prohibition in Dvaraka. 
(Sloka 29, Chapter 1, Mausala Parva, M.B.). 

(13) Once he made dry the river Kalindi. (See Kalindi) . 
BALABHADRARAMA II. A very mighty serpent. 

(Sloka 37, Chapter 1, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

BALADA. The first son of the Agni, Bhanu. It is this 
Agni which gives life and strength to all living beings. 
(Sloka 10, Chapter 221, Sand Parva, M.B.) . 

BALANDHARA. A daughter of the king of Kasl. Let 
the mightiest of men marry her, said her father. Defeating 
all the kings who tried to take her Bhimasena married 
her and SarvaSa was the son born to Bhimasena of 
Balandhara. (Sloka 70, Chapter 95, Asvamedha Parva, 

BALADHI. An ancient hermit. He was powerful. He 
performed a severe penance for getting sons. The 
Devatas appeared and granted him a boon. Accordingly 
a son called Medhavin was born to him. Once Medhavin 
teased the great hermit Dhanusaksa, who cursed him to 
death. (M.B., Vana Parva, Chapter 135). 

BALAHAKA I. (VALAHAKA) . A serpent famous in 
the Puranas. This serpent stays 
Varuna, worshipping him. 
Chapter 9, Stanza 9) . 

dratha the King of Sindhu. He 
kidnapping Draupadi. (M.B., 
265, Stanza 12). 

BALAHAKA III. (VALAHAKA) . A famous horse yoked 
on the right side of the chariot of Sri Krsna. Mention 
is made about this horse in M.B., Virata Parva, Chapter 
45, Stanza 23. 

BALAHAKA IV. A king. Once Siva gave this king a 
vision of him in the shape of a cow-calf. After that in 
the place where Siva appeared as calf a Sivalihga 
arose. It began to grow to the extent of an atom daily. 
But the growth ceased, when an outcaste who became 
so by Karma (action) visited it. (Skandha Purana 
3-2-27) . 

BALAKA (VALAKA). A forester. This forester used to 
go for hunting and he gave everything he got to his old 
parents without reserving anything for himself. One 
day he did not find any animal even though he had 
made a thorough search in the forest. He was much 
worried. At last he reached the bank of a river. He 
saw an extraordinary animal drinking water. He had 
never seen such an animal before. 

the durbar 
(M.B., Sabha 

hall of 

. A brother of Jaya- 
helped Jayadratha in 
Vana Parva, Chapter 

It was a peculiar creature. That creature had done 
penance before Brahma, from its young age with the view 
of destroying everything. Brahma appeared before the 
creature and granted it the boon that it would have the 
power to make anything blind. Brahma also said that 
anybody who killed the creature would be given a place 
in the realm of Gods. The creature had been wandering 
in the forest making blind every creature it met, and 
one day it was drinking water and it was then that 
Valaka shot it down. As soon as the creature fell down 
the gods showered flowers, and took him to the realm 
of Gods in a divine chariot. (M.B., Karna Parva, 
Chapter 69) . 

near the mountain of Gandhamadana. Those who bathe 
in this holy bath would become as bright and famous as 
devas (gods) It is mentioned so in the Mahabharata, 
Anusasana Parva, Chapter 25, Stanza 19. 

BALAKASVA. (VALAKASVA). He is the grandson of 
the hermit Jahnu and the son of Aja otherwise called 
Sindhudvlpa. Balakasva had a son called Kusika. (M.B., 
Santi Parva, Chapter 49, Stanza 3) . 


1) Origin. Sixty thousand hermits were born to Kratu, 
one of the Saptarsis (seven hermits), by his wife, 
Santati.* They are called Balakhilyas. Everyone of 
them was only the size of half a thumb, but they were 
as bright as the blazing sun and had attained control 
over their senses. (Visnu Purana, Amsa 1, Chapter 10). 

2) Garuda (Eagle) and Bdlakhilya(s). A story connect- 
ing the birth of Garuda with Balakhilyas occurs in 
the Puranas. 

Once Kasyapa Prajapati performed a sacrifice to 
obtain children. The work of bringing firewood for 
the sacrifice was entrusted to Indra and the other 
devas (Gods) and the Balakhilyas. When Indra was 
heaping up on heaps pieces of big logs the Balakhilyas 
who were very small were bringing in chips of 
wood. Seeing this Indra laughed. The Balakhilyas 
got angry and stopping the work entrusted to them 
began to do penance with a view to create an- 
other Indra. Knowing this Indra was much flurried. 
He went to Kasyapa and told him everything. Kasyapa 
went to the Balakhilyas and pacified them. At this time 
Vinata, a wife of Kasyapa, was doing penance to 
obtain a son. Kasyapa said that the penance of the 
Balakhilyas would not be fruitless and that as a result 
of their penance a son who would overpower Indra 
would be born to Vinata. Accordingly a son was born 
to her. Garuda was that son. The fact that Garuda 
overthrew Indra when he went to heaven for ambrosia, 
is well known. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 31). 

3) Routine of life. The Balakhilyas live in themandala 
of Surya (solar region). They travel in front of the sun 
in the shape of birds. They wear hides of animals. They 
are righteous and are only as big as a thumb. They are 
very ardent in doing the works of devas ( Gods) . They 
are sinless. There are Balakhilyas living in the lunar 
region also. They worship the Sun daily. All the world 
stand firm in truth because of the penance of the 
Balakhilyas. (M.B., Anusasana Parva, Chapter 141.). 

*In some other Puranas the mother of Balakhilyas is given the name 'Sannati'. This may be a mistake in the manuscript. 




4) Other information. (1) Garuda (Eagle) who went 
to the realm of devas (gods) for Amrta (amb- 
rosia) took rest on the branch of a banyan tree, and 
that branch was broken from the tree. Sixty thousand 
Balakhilyas were doing penance hanging head down- 
wards on that branch. Garuda knew this only after the 
branch was broken. Feiring the curse form them he took 
the branch in his beak and flew about here and there. 
At last, according to the advice of Kasyapa, he took the 
branch to the mount Gandhamadana and without caus- 
ing any harm to the small hermits placed it there 
(M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 30). 

(2) When Dusyanta entered the hermitage of Kanva 
he saw the Balakhilyas doing panance, hanging down 
on the trees in the vicinity. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chap- 
ter 7). 

(3) In Valmlki Ramayana, Balakanda, Sarga 51, it 
is mentioned that the Balakhilyas were engaged in 
prayer and meditations and offering oblations to fire 
in the hermitage of Vasistha. 

(4) It is mentioned in ValmTki Ramayana, Balakanda, 
Sarga 51, that in the period of the Ramayana, in 
South India, when Ravana was going to the house of 
Maiica, he saw the Balakhilyas doing penance. 

(5) The Balakhilyas learned the Vedas and Sastras 
(scriptures) sitting in the chariot of the sun. (Kampa 
Ramayana, Parvakanda). 

BALAKHILYA SA&HITA. See the word Guruparam- 

BALAKI. (VALAKI) . One of the hundred sons of Dh.'ta- 
rasfra. Mention is made in the Mahabharata Adi 
Parva, Chapter 185, Stanza 2, that Valaki had been 
present on the occasion of the svayarhvara (wedding) 
of Draupadi. 

BALAKI. A hermit. He is called Gargya also as he is 
a son of Garga. He acquired much knowledge and so 
he became arrogant. Because of this some called him 

Once the hermit went to the King of KasI and told him 
that he would impart to him the knowledge of Brahma. 
The king replied that he would give thousand cows in 
return. Balaki declared that the sun-god was Brahma. 
The king said that he had known it. Everything that 
Balaki said had been known to the king earlier. 
So, in the end Balaki had to become the disciple of the 
King. Then the King took him to a man who was sleep- 
ing. The King called the sleeping man. But he did not 
wake up. The King woke him up and then asked the 
hermit, where he had gone when he was sleeping. Balaki 
could not say where men go when they are sleeping 
and where they return from when they wake up. The 
king said "In our sleep we attain 'Sarupya' (assimila- 
tion to god) . But we are not aware of it. Though 
we get eternal bliss we do not know it. If we can get 
eternal bliss when we keep awake that is 'Atmajnana' 
(knowledge of Supreme Soul) . As the flames emanate 
from fire, and as the spider weaves its net and sits in its 
centre, the soul creates everything, controls everything 

D AT P^ r A vades everything." (Brhadaranyakopanisad) . 
D j- An ancient kin g of Bharata. While the 
Pandavaswere living incognito in the kingdom of Virata 
Duryodhana and his brothers stole the cows of Virata 
in consequence of which there was a battle. The devas 
(gods) came in planes to see the fight between Arjuna 
and the teacher Krpa. It is mentioned in the Maha- 

bharata, Virata Parva, Chapter 56, that the King Balaksa 
was there with the gods when they came to see the fight. 

BALAMITRA. A king. Satrughna who led the yaga 
horse of Sri Rama fought with Viramani and at that 
time Balamitra fought on the side ofVIram'ani. (Chapter 
40, Patala Khanda, Padma Purana) . 

15ALAMODAKA. The son of Suratha, the King of 
Kundalanagarl. (Padma Purana, Chapter 40). 

BALANlKA (VALANlKA) I.' A son of the King 
Drupada. Mention is made in Mahabharata, Drona 
Parva, Chapter 156, that Asvatthama killed him in the 
battle of Kuruksetra. 

BALANlKA (VALANlKA) II. A brother of Matsya, 
the King of Virata. During the battle of Kuruksetra 
he had taken the side of the Pandavas and had fought 
against the Kauravas. (M.B., Drona Parva, Chapter 

BALASVAMl. A warrior of Subrahmanya. (M.B., <Jalya 
Parva, Chapter 45, Stanza 74) . 

BALAVATl. The daughter of hermit Kanva. She did 
penance to please the Sun to obtain a husband of a 
very good nature. The Sun appeared before her and gave 
her some dates and asked her to prepare food with them 
and bring them back. Balavati began to cook the dates. 
Though all the faggots she had gathered were consumed 
it was not properly boiled. As there was no more fire- 
wood she put her leg into the oven. Seeing this the Sun- 
God was pleased and said "All your wishes will be 
realized". From that day onwards that place was called 
by the name 'Balapa'. (Padma Purana, Uttara Khanda 
Chapter 152). 

BALAVINASTAKA. The hero of a story, given in Katha- 
saritsagara, Kathamukhalambaka, Taraiiga six, to show 
that it is not good to make others angry. The story is 
as follows : 

Long ago there was a Brahmin named Rudra Sarma. 
He had two wives. Both gave birth to a son each. The 
elder wife died and her son also was brought up by the 
younger wife. Being jealous she fed the child with food 
too hard for the child and it became lean with stomach 
swollen and the bones projecting. It looked an uncouth 
figure. Seeing him like this Rudra Sarma called him Bala- 
vinastaka (one who is lost when he is a boy). He 
gradually grew up. When he was only five years old he 
showed extraordinary intelligence. One day he decided 
to teach his foster-mother a lesson. On that day he was 
sitting alone on the lap of his father. He said to his 
father, "Father, I have two fathers". Thenceforward the 
father began to doubt his wife, that she was having a 
lover. He grew jealous. He would not talk to her. The foster- 
mother thought Balavinastaka was the cause for this 
change in her husband's behaviour. One day she called 
the boy to her mildly and asked him for the reason for 
the change in the behaviour of his father towards her. 
He said that he would bring about a change in the beha- 
viour of his father if he would be cared for properly. 
She agreed. Then he took a mirror and held it before 
his father and when the reflection of his father fell in 
the mirror he said, "Father, I have two fathers". Imme- 
diately the doubt of his father was removed. It is not 
right to make even a boy angry. 

BALAYANI. An acarya (Teacher). In Bhagavata, 
S<andha 10, it is seen that Balayani was taught Bala- 
khilya samhita by Baskala. 




BALAYOGl. A king of the Anga dynasty. He was the 
son of Bali, who had six sons named Ariga, Vahga, 
Kalhiga, Pundra, Baleya and Balayogi. (Agni Purana, 
Chapter 2 7 7)'. 

BALAYUS. One of the eight sons born to Pururavas by 
Urvasi. (Padma Purana, Si'sti, Chapter 12). 

BALHlKA. (BALHIKA) I. A powerful king born in 
the family of Ahara. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 67, 
Stanza 25) . 

BALHlKA II. A king who in his previous life was the 
asura called Krodhavasa. It is mentioned in Maha- 
bharata, Drona Parva, Chapter 96, Stanza 12, that 
this King helped the Kauravas in the battle of Kuruk- 

BALHlKA III. A kingwhowas the third son of Janame- 
jaya and the grandson of King Kuru. (M.B., Adi Parva, 
Chapter 94, Stanza 56). 

BALHlKA IV. A son of Pratipa, a King of the Kuru 
dynasty. He had two brothers, Devapi and Santanu. It 
is said in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 94 that 
Sunanda, the princess of the country of Sibi was their 
mother. Mention is made in Bhagavata, Skandha 9, 
Chapter 22, Stanza 18 that this king Balhlka had a son 
named Somadatta. Balhlka was a friend of the Kauravas 
and the Pandavas. Balhika exhorted them strongly, not 
to engage in a battle. Still, when the battle was begun, 
Balhika sided with the Kauravas. Balhika was once 
elected as the general of eleven divisions of the army 
of Duryodhana. 

The achievements ofBalhlka in the battle of Kuruksetra 
are given below : 

1) There was a combat on the first day of the battle 
between Balhlka and Dhrstaketu. (M.B., Bhlsma Parva, 
Chapter 45, Stanza 38) . 

2) Bhimasena defeated Balhlka. (M.B., Bhlsma Parva, 
Chapter 104, Stanza 26). 

3) Fought with Drupada. (Mahabharata, Drona Parva, 
Chapter 25, Stanza 18). 

4) Balhlka fought with Sikhandl. (Mahubhitrata, Drona 
Parva, Chapter 96, Stanza 7) . 

5) Bhimasena killed Balhika. (Drona Parva, Chapter 
157, Stanza 15). 

BALHlKA V. The charioteer of Dharmaputra. (M.B., 

Sabha Parva, Chapter 58, Stanza 20). 
BALHlKADESA. A country in ancient Bharata. Mention 

is made about this country in Mahabharata, Bhlsma 

Parva, Chapter 9. 
BALI (MAHABALI) I. An emperor of the Asuras. He 

was the son of Virocana and the grandson of Prahlada. 

1 ) Genealogy and Birth. The Asuras or the Daityas are 
the sons born, of his wife Diti, to Kasyapa Prajapati, son 
of Marici and grandson of Brahma. There were so 
many Asuras born as the sons of Diti. But among them 
Hiranyaksa, Hiranyakasipu, Surapadma, Sirhhavaktra, 
Tarakasura and Gomukha were notorious. Of their 
sisters Sirhhika and Ajamukhl were famous. 

Four sons called Prahlada, Sarhhrada, Hrada and 
Anuhrada were born to Hiranyakasipu. Virocana was 
the son of Prahlada and Mahabali was the son of Viro- 
cana. Bana was born from Mahabali and four crores of 
Asuras called Niviitakavacas were born from Bana. 

2) The churning of the ocean. Once Mahlbali had stolen 
the wealth of Devendra. While he was carrying it to 
his .house, it all fell in the ocean. Mahavisnu ordered 
the devas (gods) to recover the lost wealth from the 

ocean. It was impossible to churn the ocean without 
the help of Mahabali. So the devas went to Mahabali 
and sought his help. Mahabali agreed to help them. 
The real aim of the devas was not to regain the lost 
wealth but to obtain the celestial nectar known as Nectar 
of Immortality (Amrta) and to defeat the Asuras in 
battle. On the side of the Asuras there was the know- 
ledge of the Mr tasafijivani (life-restoring remedy) . So 
the dead were being brought to life. But it was not 
possible for devas to do so. It was to make up this 
deficiency, by obtaining Ambrosia from the sea, that 
the devas tried to churn the sea, under the pretence of 
recovering the lost wealth. Mention is made in the 
Visnu Purana, Arhsa 1, Chapter 9 and Matsya Purana, 
Chapters 250 and 251 that these events took place 
during the regime of the Indra named Mantradruma in 
the Caksusamanvantara (the period of the manu named 

3) War with Indra. The great teacher Sukra again 
anointed Bali, who was brought to life again, as Indra. 
After that he performed the sacrifice of Visvajit (con- 
queror of the world) on behalf of Bali. Assuming the 
responsibilities of government, Bali performed one 
hundred Asvamcdha yagas (Horse sacrifices) (Bhaga- 
vata, Skandha 8) . 

After the Visvajit sacrifice, Yajnadeva (god of sacrifice) 
who was greatly pleased at the sacrifice, presented Bali 
with a divine chariot, equal in all aspects to that of 
Indra, a golden bow, two quivers, which would never 
become empty and a divine armour, and his grand- 
father gave him a garland that would never fade, and 
the teacher Sukra gave him a divine conch, and Brahma 
presented a garland. (M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 216) . 

4) Attainment of the Position of Indra. Mahavisnu had 
not been on good terms with the devas, for a time. 
Taking this opportunity, Sukracarya the teacher of the 
Asuras, persuaded Bali to engage the devas in a battle. 
Bali defeated the devas completely in a pitched battle. 
Thus the realm of the gods came under the sway of 
Mahabali. Once, during that period Bali invited his 
grandfather Prahlada to heaven and requested him to 
accept the most honourable seat there. Prahlada 
accepted his invitation and anointed B^li as Indra. Bali 
enquired of Prahlada as to the method of carrying on 
the government of heaven. Prahlada said thus in reply: 
"Only virtue will always win. Rule the kingdom without 
deviating from virtue." (Vamana Purana, Chapter 74). 
Because Bali had ruled his kingdom according to the 
advice of Prahlada, he became famous in the three 
worlds. (Vamana Purana, Chapter 75) . 

According to the version of Bhagavata, Prahlada when 
he grew old, left his kingdom in the hands of his son 
Virocana and went to the forest for penance. Virocana 
was not as famous as Prahlada. After the period of 
Virocana, Mahabali came to the throne. He was a 
mighty king. Within a short time he became the emperor 
of the Asuras. It was during this period that the churn- 
ing of the Milk Sea took place. The Asuras and the 
Devas (gods) sat on either side and using the mount 
Mandara as churn-drill, churned the Milk Sea and 
obtained Amrta (the celestial nectar of immortality). 
A battle took place between the Asuras and the Devas 
for the possession of Amrtakalasa (the Ambrosia and 
the container) and the emperor Mahabali was killed in 
the battle. The Asuras carried the dead body of Maha. 




ball to his capital, where Sukracarya (their teacher-pri- 
est Sukra) brought him to life again by the help of sacred 
herbs. Mahabali instantly waged another war, fiercer 
than the previous ones, with the devas, and having 
defeated them, he drove them out of their realm and 
brought it under control. (Bhagavata, Skandha 8). 

5) The curse of Prahldda. As the whole of heaven came 
under the sway of Bali, the devas began to leave the 
country one by one. Everybody was happy and comfort- 
able under the rule of Bali. But the devas and Brah- 
manas were denied the privileges they deserved. They 
approached Visnu and represented their grievances. 
Visnu told them thus : "Bali is devoted to me. Still, to 
redress your grievances I shall take the incarnation of 
Vamana shortly." 

In course of time the Asuras and their countries began 
to be weakened. Seeing the approach of destruction 
emperor Bali became thoughtful. He approached 
Prahlada to learn the reason. Prahlada told Bali thus : 
"Lord Visnu is now staying in the womb of Aditi for his 
incarnation as Vamana. That is why the country and 
the Asuras are subjected to destruction. Hearing this 
Mahabali said: ''Our Riiksasas are more powerful 
than that Visnu." Hearing these haughty words of 
Bali, Prahlada got angry and cursed Bali ''Let your 
country be destroyed." Bali requested Prahlada to 
pardon him. Prahlada advised Bali "You will get sal- 
vation only by relying on Visnu". (Vamana Purana 77) . 

6) Defeated by Vamana. The defeated devas had taken 
refuge in forests. Aditi the mother of the devas was 
very sorry at this. She shed tears before her husband 
Kasyapa Prajapati, who advised his wife to take a fast 
of twelve days, and taught her the rules and rituals of 
the fast. Accordingly she took the fast, Visnu appeared 
before her and asked her what boon she wanted. She 
requested Visnu to take birth as her son, to drive away 
Bali and to restore her sons, the devas (gods) , to their 
kingdom of heaven. Mahavisnu agreed. 

Aditi became pregnant and gave birth to the son 
Vamana. He was an incarnation of Mahavisnu. [The 
5th incarnation (avatara) of Visnu]. 
At this time Mahabali was performing a sacrifice on the 
bank of the river Narmada. Vamana came to the place of 
sacrifice in the dress of a hermit boy and told Mahabali 
that he was a help less hermit boy and requested that 
he might be given three steps of ground. Mahabali 
was pleased with the boy and told him that he was 
willing to give the boy even the country called Bhrnga- 
raka and that he was prepared to forego the kingly 
pleasures for the boy. The hermit boy did not show any 
desire for them. So many gathered round them to 
witness this sight. The teacher Sukracarya called Maha- 
bali and said that the boy was a cheat and that his 
request should not be granted. But Mahabali decided 
to grant the wish of the boy and as a token of his gift 
he began to offer the boy water from a waterpot. Then 
the teacher got into the mouth of the pot in the shape 
of a mote and water would not flow freely out of the 
mouth of the pot. Knowing this Vamana took a grass 
of Darbha and pushed it at the mouth of the pot. The 
grass pierced one eye of Sukracarya. From that time 
onwards Sukracarya had only one eye. Water flowed 
freely into the hands of Vamana. Sukra got angry and 
cursed Bali. Vamana began to measure the ground 
and simultaneously began to grow. The asuras who were 

horrified at this, began to attack Vamana with anything 
they could lay hands on. Still Vamana was growing. 
Finally he became an immensely large being. With 
one step he measured the whole of earth and with the 
second step he took the whole of heaven. Then he 
asked Bali, where to place the third step. Mahabali 
said that he had only his body left, as his own, and 
that Vamana might take it and complete three steps. 
Vamana placed his foot on the head of Bali and pushed 
him down to Patala (the Netherworld) . Thencefor- 
ward the asuras became the inhabitants of Patala. 
(Bhagavata, Skandha 8). 

7) Bali and Ravana. Once Ravana visited Bali who 
was under custody in Patala, and said to him, "I have 
come to save you from here. So get yourself free from 
the custody of Mahavisnu, with my help." Hearing 
this, Bali asked Ravana to fetch the two earrings of 
Hiranyakaisipu, which were shining like blazing fire 
a little away from them. Ravana moved forward to 
take them. But he fell unconscious. Bali caused him to 
recover and said: "These earrings were worn by my 
great grandfather Hiranyakasipu. How could you, 
who are not even capable of taking his earrings, save 
me from his slayer, Visnu? Visnu is Almighty and 
All-powerful and Supreme Lord of everything." Hear- 
ing this, Ravana was filled with shame and he returned. 
(Valmiki Ramayana, Uttara Kanda, Praksipta Sarga) . 

8) Bali born as a Gardabha (Ass). Bali, who was fallen 
from power took birth in the womb of an ass and 
roamed about. Brahma instructed Indra to find out 
Bali. (M.B., Sand Parva, Chapters 216-218). 

9) Other information. 

(1) Mahabali shines in the durbar of Varuna. (M.B., 
Sabha Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 12). 

(2) Once Mahabali went to Prahlada and repented of 
his sins and begged for pardon. Then he began to make 
enquiries on spiritual matters. (M.B., Vana Parva, 
Chapter 28, Stanza 3) . 

(3) From his childhood Mahabali was a hater of the 
Brahmanas. (M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 90, Stanza 

(4) Once Mahabali was engaged in a serious contest 
with Indra. (M.B., Sand Parva, Chapter 223). 

(5) After having lost his kingdom Mahabali ridiculed 
Indra in various ways. (M.B., Santi Parva, Chapter 
225, Stanza 30) . 

(6) Once Mahabali talked with Sukracarya about 
giving gifts of flower, smoke and light. (M.B., Anu- 
sasana Parva, Chapter 98, Stanza 15). 

(7) Laksml Devi had forsaken Mahabali because he 
behaved haughtily towards Brahmanas. (M.B., Santi 
Parva, Chapters 216-218) . 

(8) In the religious Books such as Yogavasistha the 
story of Mahabali is given to illustrate disinterestedness 

BALI II. A hermit. It is mentioned in the Mahabharata, 
Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 10, that this hermit 
lived in Hasdnapura. 

BALI III. An incarnation of Siva. Siva incarnated in 
the hermitage of the Balakhilyas in the mount of 
Gandhamadana during the period of Varaha Kalpa 
(Kalpa one day of Brahma or the period of 14 
manus) . It is seen in Siva Purana, Satapatha Brahmana 
that Bali had four sons, called Sudhama, Kasyapa, 
Vasisjha and Virajas, 




BALI IV. A king of the Yadavas. He was the son of 
Krtavarman. Bali married Carumatl, the daughter of 
Rukminl. (Bhagavata, Skandha 10). 

BALI V. A famous monkey-king of the country of Anava. 
This King who was the son of Sutapas was a contem- 
porary of the great King Sagara. 

Bali did penance and Brahma appeared before him, 
and blessed him and said, "You will become a great 
sage and will live till the end of the Kalpa (a period 
of world age). Your power will be inimitable. Nobody 
will overthrow you in battle. You will be loved by 
your subjects and they will obey you. You will be well- 
versed in the knowledge of law and its observance and 
the learned will recognize your knowledge. You will 
re-establish caste system in your kingdom.' ' (Harivarhia, 
1. 31.35.39). 

Sudesna was the wife of Bali. The couple had no children. 
At last they appealed to Dlrghatamas a hermit, from 
whom they got five sons called Ariga, Variga, Kalinga, 
Pandu and Suhma (Brahma Purana). In Bhagavata 
it is mentioned that he had one more son called 

Bali left his body at the end of the Kalpa and entered 
heaven. Before his death he had divided his kingdom 
equally among his sons. (Bhagavata, Skandha 9, Maha- 
bharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 92). 

BALI. A mighty monkey-king. 

1 ) Birth. Bali is the son of Indra. There is a story 
about the birth of Bali as follows: 
SllavatI who was devoted to her husband once carried 
her husband Ugratapas who was a leper, on her shoul- 
der to the house of a harlot one night. On the way 
they saw the hermit Animandavya, who had been 
placed on a trident by the order of the King, beating 
his limbs with agony. Lying on the trident he saw 
Ugratapas. Seeing the amorous nature of Ugratapas 
Animandavya cursed him that before sunrise he would 
die. SilavatI who was a woman of great purity and 
loyalty hearing the curse said, "Let the Sun not rise 

Next day, though it was time the sun did not rise. The 
night prolonged. Aruna the charioteer was ready at the 
usual time but saw the Sun sitting motionless. Wast- 
ing time was intolerable to the charioteer. So he decid- 
ed to make the best use of the time at his disposal by 
witnessing a little of the dance of the celestial beauties 
in the realm of the devas. But males had no admittance 
there. So Aruna took the shape of a beautiful woman 
and got in. Seeing a new person, very beautiful to 
look at, sitting in the midst of the celestial maids Indra 
grew amorous. He secretly took her to a dark place 
and a son was born out of that coition. That son is Bali. 
When Aruna returned the Sun was standing full of 
anger. Being afraid of him Aruna confessed everything 
to the Sun. When he heard the whole story the Sun 
expressed his desire to see that figure which Aruna had 
adopted. Accordingly Aruna again became a woman. 
The Sun also had coition with her and Sugriva was 
the son born out of this coition. Bali and Sugriva 
were brought up by AhalyadevI in the hermitage of 

At that time a monkey-king named Rksaraja had been 
ruling over the forest with Kiskindha as his capital. 
He had no sons and so he approached Indra and placed 
before him his grievances. Indra brought Bali and 

Sugriva from the hermitage of Gautama and handed 
them over to Rksarajas. (M.B., Adi Parva. Chapter 107; 
Brahmanda Purana, Chapter 42; Uttara Ramayana 
and Kampa Ramayana, Purvakanda). 

2 ) Marriage and Kingship. Owing to difference of opini- 
on, Bali defeated the asuras who came for the churning 
of the Sea of Milk. The devas who were pleased at 
this, gave Bali, a woman named Tara, derived from 
the Sea of Milk. Thus Tara became his wife and he got 
a son by her, named Arigada who became famous as a 
mighty warrior-prince. Sugriva married Ruma. At that 
time Rksaraja died and Bali became King. (Kampa 
Ramayana, Purvakanda). 

3) Enmity with Hanuman. It was during this period 
that Hanuman was born. While Siva and ParvatI were 
living in the forest as monkeys ParvatI got with child. 
The child was given to Bhagavan Vayu ( Wind-God ) 
with the womb. Vayu placed the womb with the child 
in Anjana Devi's stomach. Narada informed Bali all these 
things. Bali thought that his position would be lost, if 
a being born of Siva, grew up in the form of a monkey. 
In accordance with the advice of Narada, Bali melted 
Pancaloha (Five metals) and passed it into the womb 
of Anjana. Still the child in the womb was not killed 
as it was the sperm of Siva. The molten metals became 
earrings of the child in the womb. (Kampa Ramayana, 

4) Sugriva separated. Once, the son of Maya, the car- 
penter of the asuras, wanted to defeat Bali by a 
combat or cunning sleights as he was an expert wrest- 
ler and magician. He came to Kiskindha in the mid- 
night and standing before the palace, challenged Bali, 
who getting angry came out followed by Sugriva. See- 
ing the two of them the magician began to run. Bali 
and Sugriva chased him to a cave. Placing Sugriva at 
the mouth of the cave Bali followed the magician. Be- 
fore going, Bali said to Sugriva: "Brother, I will go in 
and kill the Magician and return. Be brave and stay 
here. If the asura dies milk will appear at the mouth 
of the cave and if he kills me blood will be seen. If the 
latter happens close the mouth of the cave firmly and 
return to Kiskindha and live happily there." 

Bali did not return even after a year. Finally the asura 
was killed. But by the cunning sleights of the magician 
it was blood that appeared at the mouth of the cave. 
Thinking that his brother was slain by the magician 
Sugriva felt sorry. Then he closed the mouth of the cave 
firmly with stone and returned to Kiskindha. Hearing 
about the death of Bali the monkeys anointed Sugriva 
as King. After a time Bali returned stronger than before 
and saw the mouth of the cave closed. He thought that 
Sugriva had closed the mouth of the cave deliberately 
to kill him and to usurp his throne. Bali reached 
Kiskindha and drove Sugriva away. Sugriva fled to 
Mount Rsyamukacala which was prohibited area for 
Bali due to a curse. Matanga had cursed him that if 
he entered that mountain his head would be broken. 
So Sugriva was safe in that mountain. 
The desire of Bali to take revenge on Sugriva increased 
everyday. Everyday he used to go to the four sea- 
shores and conduct bath, prayer, meditation etc. and 
return to Kiskindha within a short time. With one 
jump he will reach one place from another, and in 
each jump he would put one step on the head of 
Sugriva in the RSyamukacala. Hanuman was the 




minister of Sugrlva. He was much annoyed at this 
habitual torture of Sugrlva. One day as usual Bali 
was stepping on the head of Sugrlva to jump to another 
place, when Hanuman caught hold of Bali by his waist. 
Hanuman thought that if Bali was dragged down on 
the mountain somehow or other, his head would break 
and there would be an end of his wicked deeds. Bali 
thought that if he could jump into Kiskindha with 
Hanuman it would be easy for him to destroy Sugrlva. 
But both were of equal strength. So Bali did not jump 
with Hanuman to Kiskindha and Hanuman did not 
drag Bali to the ground. Both did not know how to 
stop the fight. At last they made a treaty. Bali agreed 
to stop torturing Sugriva and Hanuman agreed not to 
cause any trouble to Bali. Both returned to their own 
places. After that Sugrlva lived in RSyamukacala with 
his ministers and Bali in Kiskindha. (Valmiki Rama- 
yana, Kiskindha Kanda, Sarga 10;Kampa, 

5) Bali was cursed by Matanga the great hermit. See 
the word Dundubhi para 4. 

6) Defeating Havana. Bali had got a boon from the 
Gods that he would get half the strength of his oppo- 
nent who stood face to face with him in fight. This 
power enabled Bali to defeat all his foes and bring the 
countries in all directions under his sway. Ravana heard 
about this and decided to overpower Bali somehow or 
other and approached Kiskindha. Bali knew this. His 
minister, Taran, went to Ravana and told him about 
the power of Bali and of the boon by which Bali got 
half the strength of his opponent. When Ravana heard 
of this peculiar boon he decided to kill Bali. His idea 
was to kill Bali by going behind him when he went to 
the sea-shore to take bath in the morning. 

Next morning Bali went to the eastern sea-shore and 
began his prayer and meditation. Ravana approached 
Bali from behind and sat close to him. Perhaps the 
idea of Ravana might have been to take Bali by his 
tail and beat him on the ground. Bali knew that 
Ravana was sitting behind him. But pretending that 
he knew nothing put his long tail on the body of 
Ravana, and passed it lengthwise and breadthwise 
through every part of his body and tied him like a 
bundle of faggots, and made a jump into the air. 
Within a short time he visited all the usual places and 
reached Kiskindha. Seeing Ravana hanging by the 
tail of Bali, even the women folk laughed. Thus 
Ravana admitted defeat. Bali let him go unhurt. 
(Uttara Ramayana). 

7) Death. After Sita had been stolen away Rama 
and Laksmana wandered about in the forest. Then 
they met with Hanuman, who took them to his King 
Sugrlva. Sri Rama and Sugriva entered into a treaty, 
by which Sri Rama was to kill Bali and to restore to 
Sugriva his wife who was under the custody of Bali, and 
to make him the King of Kiskindha, in return for 
which Sugriva and his men had to help Sri Rama to 
find out and recover Sita. In accordance with the con- 
ditions of the treaty, Sri Rama and Sugriva reached 
Kiskindha, to confront with Bali. Sri Rama and Sug- 
riva had hit up on a plan, by which Sri Rama was to 
shoot Bali down, when Sugriva was engaged in boxing 
with Bali. Sugriva challenged Bali to a single combat. 
Bali came out and a horrible boxing began between the 
two. But Sri Rama could not distinguish one from 

the other. Thier faces were so alike. Sugriva, being 
defeated, receded from fight. Sri Rama and Sugriva 
returned to Riyamukacala. Surgiva spoke ill of Sri 
Rama. But Sri Rama revealed the truth, and Sugriva 
believed it. Next day morning both of them started for 
Kiskindha to kill Bali. Sri Rama had put a flower 
garland around the neck of Sugriva to distinguish him 
from Bali. This time Tara tried to the utmost to dis- 
suade Bali from fighting. But without paying any heed 
to her words Bali engaged Sugriva in fighting. Sri 
Rama, sitting in ambush, instantly sent an arrow to 
the breast of Bali who looked to the side from which 
the arrow came. Before falling down, looking at Sri 
Rama Bali said "It is not right on the part of the King 
of Ayodhya to have shot an arrow from ambush". 
Hearing that Sri Rama said, "Ifyou see me face to face 
you will become devoted to me. It is not right to kill 
one's devotee. You are a friend of Ravana, who as you 
know, is my foe. If I let you alone Ravana is likely to 
get your help. Besides, you have a boon that you will 
get half the strength of the foe who faces you, and as 
such you cannot be killed by anybody in direct fight. 
It is unavoidable for the safety of Sugriva, for my 
interest, for the protection of the world at large, and 
for the preservation of law and order that you should 
be killed. Was it not a violation of duty on your part 
to steal the wife of Sugriva ?" 

Bali fell down. Immediately Taradevi and Aiigada 
arrived there. Tara spoke very harsh words to Sri 
Rama. At last Bali entrusted Tara and Aiigada with 
Sri Rama and then he died. (Kampa Ramayana, 
Kiskindh'ikanda) . 

BALlHAM. A dynasty of Ksatriyas. It is mentioned in 
Mahabharata, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 74, Stanza 14 
that there was a king named Arkaja in this dynasty. 

BALlSlKHA. A serpent born to Kasyapa prajapati 
of his wife Kadru. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 35, 
Stanza 8). 

BALIVAK. A hermit. It is mentioned in Mahabharata, 
Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Stanza 14 that this hermit 
had been a member of the durbar of Yudhisthira. 

BALLALA. Son of a Vaigya named Kalyana. From 
childhood Ballala was an ardent devotee of Ganapati. 
When he was a child he used to gather pebbles and 
make a heap and then worship it, imagining it to be 
GaneSa (Ganapati). 

His parents did not like this. They tried their best to 
dissuade him from this habit. Once they tied him to 
a tree and gave him severe cuts. But their attempts 
were futile. One day an image of Ganapati arose in 
the place where the child used to worship. (GaneSa 
Purana 1 : 2). 

BALLAVA (VALLAVA) . A country in Bharata. Men- 
tion is made about this country in Mahabharata, 
Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9. 

BALLAVA (VALLAVA). This is the pseudo-name 
assumed by Bhimasena, while the Pandavas were living 
in pseudonymity in the kingdom of Virata. In some 
Puranas this name is shown as 'Valala'. (M.B., Virata 
Parva, Chapter 2, Stanza 1) . 

BALOTKATA. A female attendant of Subrahmanya. 
(M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 23) . 

BALVALA (VALKALA). An asura. This asura had 
been tormenting the hermits of the forest of Naimisa. 




This asura was killed by Balabhadrarama. * For 
detailed story see para 6 of the word Balabhadra- 

NA (BANABHATTA) I. A Sanskrit poet who lived in 
the 7th century A.D. He was a member of the assem- 
bly of emperor Harsa vardhana. 'Harsacarita' (prose) 
is the most important work of Bana. Though many of 
the descriptions in this book contain exaggerations it 
affords plenty of scope for investigation into the fea- 
tures of ancient Sanskrit literature. He has mentioned 
about Vyasa, Bhatiara hariscandra, Satavahana, 
Pravarasena, Bhasa, Kalidasa and such others. 
Harsacarita, in a sense, is a Romance. It is divided 
into eight Ucchvasas. From the first two or three 
chapters informations could be had of Banabhatfa. 
His mother RajyadevI died when he was a little boy. 
At the age of fourteen his father also died. After that 
he arrived at the palace of Harsa. The story of Harsa- 
carita begins with the death of Prabhakara- Vardhana, 
father of Harsa. The Book ends with the story incom- 
plete. Harsacarita is the only historic prose work 
available in Sanskrit. 
BANA II. A mighty and powerful Asura. 

1) Genealogy and birth. Descended from Mahavisnu in 
the following order : Brahma- Marlci- Kasyapa-Hiranya- 

2) Getting a boon. Bana began his reign with the city 
of Sonitapura as his capital. Then he went to the 
vicinity of the Himalayas and began to do penance 
thinking of Siva. Siva made his appearance and asked 
him what he wanted. He requested that he should be 
considered as the son of Parvati and that he should be 
given thousand hands so as to destroy all his enemies. 
Siva granted him the boon. From that day onwards 
Parvati considered him as the younger brother of 
Subrahmanya. He returned to his Kingdom and began 
to reign. 

3 ) Battle with Sri Krfna and his fall. (See the word 
Aniruddha) . 

4) Other information. (1) In the Puranas Banasura is 
often called by the name Mahakala, which is the name 
of an attendant of Siva. (M.B Adi Parva, Chapter 
65, Stanza 20) . 

(2) Sukracarya (the teacher of the Asuras) always 
worked for the uplift of Bana. (M.B., Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 38, Stanza 29). 

(3) In the Battle with Sri Krsna, Bana was helped by 
Siva, Subrahmanya, and the Gods like Agni (fire) and 
others. (M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 38) . 

(4) Sri Krsna cut down the thousand hands of Bana 
with his Cakrayudha (the wheel weapon). (M.B'., 
Sabha Parva, Chapter 38). 

( 5) Bana often stood under the cover of the mountain 
of Kraunca and attacked the devas (gods). So once 
Subrahmanya had to cut the mountain Kraunca with 
his arrows. (M.B., Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Stanza 
_82) . 

BANA III. A warrior of Subrahmanya. Mention is 
made about this Bana in Mahabharata, Salya Parva, 
Chapter 45, Stanza 67. 

BANA IV. An asura. During the regime of Sri Rama 
this Asura fought against the King and his brothers. A 
Sivaliiiga had been consecrated in the throat of this 

asura. So it was not possible for Laksmana to defeat 
him though he had fought with him for so many days. 
Laksmana heard an etherial voice saying, "Unless and 
until the image of Sivaliuga is removed from his throat 
Bana could not be killed.''' By the operation of arrows 
Laksmana smashed the image of Sivalinga in his 
throat. With the same arrow he cut the throat of the 
asura also and thus Bana was killed. (Kampa Rama- 
yana, Uttara Kanda). 

BANDHUDAYADA. A son who can claim to be a heir. 
The Puranas state about six different kinds of Bandhu- 

1) Svayamjdta. A son born to one's wife without a 

2 ) Prariita. A son born to one's wife by the blessing 
of any holy man. 

3) Putrikaputra. Son of one's daughter. 

4) Paunarbhava. A son born after a re-marriage. 

5) Kdnina. A son born before marriage. 

6) Bhaiija. Son of one's sister. All these sons are 
heirs. (Chapter 119, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

BANDHUMAN. A king of the country ofVideha. 

(Chapter 6, Brahmanda Purana). 
BAND HUM ATI. A lady attendant of Vasavadatta, 

wife of Udayana. (See Vasavadatta). 

BARBARA. A country of puranic fame. The people 
living there were called Barbaras. They were consider- 
ed as low caste people. There is also a statement that 
these people were born of the sides of the cow, Nan- 
dini. (Sloka 37, Chapter 174, Adi Parva, M.B.). 
During the victory march of the Panda vas Bhlmasena 
conquered the Barbaras. Nakula also conquered these 
people. (Chapter 32, Sabha Parva, M.B.) . In the 
Rajasuya yajfta of Dharmaputra the Barbaras were 
present with gifts. 

BARBARIKA. Son of Maurvi born of Ghatotkaca, son 
of Bhima. Skanda Purana gives the following details 
about him. 

Barbarika was a Yaksa in his previous life. Once the 
devas unable to bear the insufferable harm done to 
them by the Dana vas approached Lord Mahavisnu for 
help and then the Yaksa who was present there at that 
time said with arrogance, "There is no need for Visnu 
to curb the activities of the Danavas. I shall do it my- 
self." Hearing those arrogant words Brahmi cursed 
him saying that in his next life he would be killed by 

True to the curse the Yaksa was born in his next life 
as Barbarika, son of Ghatotkaca. To lessen the force of 
the curse Krsna advised him to worship Devi. At last 
pleasing the goddess by the kindly help of a brahmin 
named Vijaya Barbarika killed a demoness called 
Mahajihva and a demon of name Repalendra. The 
brahmin further gave him a weapon named Vibhuti 
which could split the vital centres of the body of an 
enemy and said, "Use this weapon against the Kaura- 
vas who oppose the Pandavas." 

Once Barbarika defeated his grandfather Bhima in a 
battle and greatly grieved over the injury done started 
to commit suicide. Then Devi appeared before him and 
reminded him thus, ''You will get salvation only if you 
are killed by Sri Krsna and so desist from committing 

In the original of Bhagavata this name is given as Balvala. But in the Malayalam translation the name used is "Valkala". 




The great war started and Barbarika fighting on the 
side of the Pandavas started using his weapon Vibhuti. 
He sent it against all excepting the Pandavas, Krpa- 
carya and Asvatthama. He did not leave even Krsna 
alone and the weapon fell on the feet of Krsna also. 
Enraged at this Krsna used his Sudarsana Cakra and 
cut off his head ; at once Devi appeared and brought 
him to life. After the great battle on the advice of 
Krsna Barbarika went and lived in Guptaksetra. 
BARHAISASVA. A king born of the dynasty of emperor 
Prthu. Descending in order : Prthu-Visvarandhi-Candra- 
Yuvanaiva-Savanta - Brhadasva - Dhundhumara (alias 
ValayasVa) - DrdhasVa - HaryasVa - Nikumbha and to 
Nikuihbha was born Barhanaiva and from him Kr^asva- 
Prasenajit-Yuvanaiva - Mandhata. (Saptama Skandha, 
Devi Bhagavata) . 

BARHIS. A devagandharva clan. These were born to 
KaSyapa prajapati of his wife Prtha. (Chapter 65, Adi 
Parva, M.B.). 

BARHISAD (S) . A class of Manes. It is mentioned in 
Agni Purana, Chapter 20 that some classes of manes 
such as Agnisvattas, Barhisads, Anagnis, and Sagnis are 
said to have derived from Brahma. Brahma created two 
different sets of Pitrs, Agnisvattas and Barhisads. 
(Chapter 10, Amsam I, Visnu Purana). 
TheseBarhisads who are members of the Yamasabha (coun- 
cil of the God of Death) perform the mantric rites for 
the dead. The name brings into its fold the world of 
the seven sacred sages also. ( Chapter 208, Santi Parva, 
M.B.) . It was through these Barhisads that Brahma 
taught Satvatadharma to a brahmin who became well- 
known later as Jyestfia. (Chapter 34, Sloka 45, Santi 
Parva, M.B.) . 

Manusmrti states that the Barhisads are the sons of the 
Maharsi Atri and the Pitrs of all the Daityas, Danavas, 
Yaksas, Gandharvas, Uragas, Raksasas, Suvarnas and 


Gandharvoragarak sasam 

Smrta Barhisado'trijah 

(Manusmrti, Sloka 196, Chapter 3). 

BARHISMATl. Wife of Priyavrata, son of Svayambhuva 
Manu and brother of Uttanapada. She was the daughter 
of Visvakarmaprajapati. Priyavrata married another 
daughter of his named Surupa. Surupa delivered ten 
sons and a daughter. They were : Agnidhra, Idhma- 
jihva, Yajflabahu, Mahavira, Rukmasukra, Ghrta- 
prstha, Savana, Madhatithi, Vitihotra, Kavi and a 
daughter Crjjasvatl. Priyavrata got of his wife Barhis- 
mati three sons, Uttama, Tamasa and Raivata. These 
sons became in due course the Manvantaradhipatis. 
(Astama Skandha, Devi Bhagavata). 

BARHASPATYA. The NitiSastra of Brahma. Brhaspati 
condensed and codified the laws of Ethics by Brahma. 
This was compiled by Brhaspati. This book contains 
three thousand chapters. Mention is made about this 
Book in Mahabharata, Sand Parva, Chapter 59, Stanza 
BASKALA I. A king of the asuras. 

1) Birth. Two sons, Hiranyaksa and Hiranyakasipu 
and a daughter Simhika, were born to Kasyapa praja- 
pati of his wife Diti. Simhika became the wife of Vipra- 
citti. Four sons, Anuhrada, Hrada, Prahlada and Saihh- 
lada, were born to HiranyakaSipu. Hrada was the son 

of Hrada. Three sons Ayusman, Sibi and Baskala were 
born to Samhrada. 

2) Later history. Baskala became one of the ministers 
of the famous and mighty hero Mahisasura. Ciksura 
was the minister of law and order. Tamra was the Finance 
Minister. Asiloma was the Prime Minister and Bidala 
the minister of foreign affairs. Udarkka was the general 
of the army; Baskala, Trinetra and Kalabandhaka were 
members of the administrative council. was 
the minister of education. Baskala played an important 
part in the battle between Mahisasura and Indra. 
When soldiers were killed by thousands, Mahisasura 
sent lastly, Baskala and Durmukha. Baskala engaged 
himself in a combat with Devi who fought on the side 
of the Devas. Baskala became angry and aiming at the 
breast of Devi he gave a severe blow with his club. 
But Devi evaded him with her club and gave him a 
severe thrust with her trident at his breast and Baskala 
fell dead. (Agni Purana, Chapter 19; Devi Bhagavata, 
Skandha 5). 
BASKALA II. One of the disciples of Vyasa. (See the 

word Guruparampara) . 

BATU (VATU). A brahmin who reads the Glta daily. 
Because in life he held fast to duty he was carried to 
heaven after death. The dead body was eaten away 
by birds and the bony skeleton remained. When rains 
started the empty skull was filled with water and a 
sinner passing that way touched the skull and the sinner 
got salvation. (Padma Purana, Uttara Khanda). 
BAUDHAYANA. A teacher-priest who acted according 

to Kalpa Sutras (rituals of sacrifices) . 
BHADRA I. A king of Cedi who fought on the Pandava 
side. Kama killed him. (Kama Parva, Chapter 56, 
Verse 48) .' 
BHADRA II. One of the four elephants which, from 

Patala, support the world. (See Astadiggajas) . 
BHADRA III. Son of Sraddha, daughter born to Svayam- 
bhuva Manu by his wife Satarupa. Sraddha had the 
following sons : Subha, Prasada, Maitrlputra, Abhaya, 
Dayatmaja, Santija, Bhadra, Muda, Tustija Smaya, 
Pus^ija and Yoga. (Bhagavata, Caturtha Skandha) 
BHADRA IV. A yaksa, one of the ministers of Kubera. 
He had to be born as a lion on account of the curse of 
sage Gautama. 

BHADRA V. People of the kingdom of Bhadragana are 
generally called Bhadras. It is stated in the Sabha 
Parva that the Ksatriya princes of Bhadragana present- 
ed lots of money in connection with the Rajasuya 
yajna of Yudhisthira. 
BHADRA VI. A maharsi, son of Pramati, and father of 

BHADRA VII. A son born to Sri Krsna of Kalindl. 

(Bhagavata, Dasama Skandha) . 
BHADRA I. See Bhadrakall. 

BHADRA II. The beautiful daughter of King Kakslvan. 
She was married to King Vyusitas va of the Puru dynasty. 
When Bhadra, in unbearable grief lamented the death 
of her husband his soul appeared on the skies and 
blessed her. Accordingly she got pregnant by the corpse 
of her husband and delivered six sons. (Adi Parva, 
Chapter 120, Verse 38). 

BHA.DRA III. One of the wives of Kubera. Kunti once 
related the story of Bhadra to Pancali and exhorted her 
to live like Bhadra. (Adi Parva, Chapter 198, Verse 6). 




BHADRA IV. The word Bhadra is used as another name 
of Subhadra, sister of Sri Ki'sna in Verse 14, Chapter 
218 of Adi Parva. 

BHADRA V. Yet another Bhadra, daughter of the King 
of Visala is mentioned in Chapter 45 of the Maha- 
bharata. She did penance for getting the kingdom of 
Karusa, when SiSupala, disguised as King Karusa ap- 
peared on the scene and carried her away. 
BHADRA VI. There is reference to another Bhadra, 
daughter of Soma in Chapter 154 of the Anusasana Parva. 
She once did intense penance to secure Utathya as her 
husband. Atri maharsi, father of Soma, came to know of 
the desire of his granddaughter, and got her married 
to Utathya. Varuna once fell in love with Bhadra, who 
was an exceptionally beautiful woman, and abducted 
and concealed her in the sea. When Utathya returned 
to the Asrama, his wife was missing. He understood 
what had happened to Bhadra by the light of his divine 
knowledge (television of mind). Burning with anger 
he drank up the sea completely dry, and Varuna shud- 
dering with fear returned Bhadra to Utathya and pro- 
fusely apologised. Thus ended the problem. 
BHADRA VII. Verse 24, Chapter 7 of the Mausala 
Parva, states that Bhadra, one of the four wives of 
Vasudeva, father of Sri Krsna died by jumping into the 
funeral pyre of her husband. 

BHADRA VIII. A daughter of the KingofKaSl. The 
grandson of Sagara, a king of the Solar dynasty married 
Bhadra, daughter of the King of Kasl. (Brahmanda 
Purana, Chapter 96) . 

BHADRA IX. One Bhadra, daughter of Meru was married 
by King Agnldhra. She had eight sisters, viz. Meru 
Devi, Pratiriipa, Ugradamstrl, Lata, Ramya, Syama, 
Nari and Devaviti. (Bhagavata, Pancama Skandha) . 
BHADRA X. See Vidusaka. 

BHADRA( M) . A kingdom in ancient India. The Ksa- 
triya princes of Bhadrarn gave costly presents to 
Dharmaputra at the Rajasuya Yaga (Sabhii Parva, 
Chapter 52, Verse 14). Kama, in the course of his 
digvijaya ( conquest of countries) subjugated this king- 
dom. (Vana Parva, Chapter 254.) 

BHADRABAHU. A king of Puruvamsa. (Navama Skan- 
dha, Bhagavata) . 
BHADRACARU. A son of Pradyumna. (Bhagavata, 

Dasama Skandha). 
BHADRADEHA. A king. According to the Visnu Purana 

he was one of the sons of Vasudeva by Devaki. 
BHADRAKA I. A king belonging to the Aiiga dynasty. 

(Agni Purana, Chapter 277). 

BHADRAKA II. A brahmin outcaste. This brahmin, who 
spent his whole life in committing sins, by chance, 
took magha bath for three days at Prayaga, and thus 
got himself sanctified. 

King Virasena, who was then ruling the Avanti king- 
dom had earned ample sanctity by the performance of 
seventeen Asvamedha yagas. The Deaths of King 
Virasena and Bhadraka took place on one and the same 
day. Though Bhadraka was immoral in his life, he 
went to heaven along with Virasena after death as he 
had taken the magha bath. (Padma Purana, Uttara- 
khanda) . 
BHADRAKALI. Another form of Parvati. 

1 ) General. Lord Siva, on hearing about the self- 
immolation in fire of his wife, Sati at the famous yajna 
conducted by Daksa rushed in all anger to the spot, 

and beat the earth with his matted hair, and there ensu- 
ed two forces called Virabhadra and Bhadrakali. This 
Bhadrakall was really Sati or Parvati in another form. 

2) Bhadrakali and Kariisa. There is a story in the Dasama- 
Skandha of Bhagavata that Karhsa took away from 
the room in which Devaki had delivered Sri Krsna the 
child of Yasoda by whom Krsna had been replaced, 
and dashed the child against a rock, and that the 
child then escaped from his clutches and rose up to the 
sky. That child was Bhadrakali in another form. (Agni 
Purana, Chapter 12). 

3) Kampa, Lankalaksmi and Bhadrakali. Lankalaksmi, 
who was guarding the city of Lanka, was the first to 
prevent Hanuman from entering the city. Tamil 
Puranas aver that this Lankalaksmi was an incarnation 
of Bhadrakali. Hanuman thrashed Lankalaksmi with 
his left hand at which she vomitted blood and fell down 
unconscious. On regaining consciousness remembrance 
of the past occurred to her, and after thanking Hanuman, 
who restored her to her former form, she returned to 
Kailasa. She complained to Siva that she could not 
witness the Rama-Ravana war. Then Siva told her 

"You go to the Driivida country and be put up in the 
'Svayambhulinga' temple there. I shall be born there 
as Kampa, compose the Ramayana in Tamil and get 
conducted the dolls-play. Then you would be able to 
enjoy the story of Sri Rama, especially the Rama-Ravana 
war, both by hearing and seeing the same in better 
manner than by actually seeing the war. 
Bhadrakali acted according to this bidding of Siva. 
There lived a great scholar named Sankaranarayana 
close to the temple. His wife was Cinkaravalli. Lord 
Siva, as decided upon previously was born as the son 
of Cinkaravalli, who had become a widow while she 
was worshipping 'Svayambhudeva' for the gift of a 
child. But, Cinkaravalli, who feared scandal in her, 
a widow, becoming a mother, forsook the child in the 
temple precincts and left the place. One Ganes"akaunta 
sighted the orphan child, and took it to Jayappavallan, 
the Kaunta chief. The Kaunta chief, who was without 
children brought up the orphan child as though it had 
been his own child. Since the child was recovered from 
the foot of the flagstaff it was named Kampa. Kampa, 
who was very intelligent even in his infancy, but lazy by 
nature turned out to be a great scholar and good poet 
in Tamil by the time he grew up to be a youth, and 
he became, consequently a prominent member in the 
'poets' assembly' of King Cola. When to his name was 
added the plural suffix 'r' as a token of great respect 
he came to be known as Kampar. 

Once King Cola asked Kampar and Ottakkiitta another 
member of the poets' assembly to compose in Tamil 
poetry the story of Sri Rama. The King's direction was 
that. Ottakkutta should compose his poem up to the 
incident, Setubandhana (building abridge in the sea up 
to Lanki) and Kampar should write the story of the 
war in his poem. Ottakkutta completed the task allotted 
to him within six months. But Kampar had not attempt- 
ed to write even a single line. Having been informed 
about the matter the King ordered that the poem, Rama- 
yana should be recited in the assembly the very next 
day itself. Kampar, who began writing his poem the 
same day with the object of completing it in the night 
itself fell asleep without writing anything at all. When 




Kampar awoke early in the morning he saw a divine 
form disappearing from his room, and exclaimed, "Oh! 
mother ! you have slipped away". To this the divine 
form replies, "Oh Kampar ! I have finished writing". 
And, then the divine form vanished completely. 
When Kampar got completely out of sleep and looked 
about he found the Ramayana story fully written in 
verse on his desk. Kampar inferred that the poem was 
composed by Saradabhagavati, the presiding deity of 
learning and literature, and he was wonder-struck. He 
recited the poem in the royal assembly, and the King 
and others too were wonder-struck. And, afterwards, 
according to the orders of the King the story of the war 
(YudJhak r mda Katha) began to be exhibited as dolls- 
play in the presence of the idol of the Devi in the 
temple. Thus Siva incarnated himself as Kampar, 
recited the story of the Rama-Ravana war in the temple, 
and hearing it Bhadrakall danced. 
The above is the chief legend about Kampar. 

BHADRAKALIPPATTU. (Pau=Song). Folk song very 
popular in Kerala temples. The practice is to sing 
songs in praise of Bhadrakali 

BHADRAKARA. A king of ancient India; he once left 
his kingdom, in fear of Jarasandha, and took refuge in 
South India. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 14, Verse 26). 

BHADRAKARI^ESVARA(M). A sacred place. He who 
visits this place conducts worship will never have to 
face ill fate. (Vana Parva, Chapter 84, Verse 39). 

BHADRAMATA (BHADRAMANA). Daughter born to 
Kasyapa prajapati of his wife, Krodhavaia. The ten 
daughters of Krodhavasa are: Mrgi, Mrgamanda, 
Han, Bhadramata, Matangl, Sarddiili, Sveta, Surabhi, 
Surasa and Kadru. (Sarga 14, Aranya Kanda, 
Valmiki Ramayana) . 

BHADRAMATI. A very poor brahmin. This brahmin 
had six wives and two hundred and fortyfour daughters. 
(Narada Puranam) . 

Once, hearing the glory of Bhudana (giving away land 
free to the deserved ) he was much impressed and from 
then onwards he became filled with a strong desire 
to give land free to the poor. He had no land of his 
own. But he went to the king of Kauiambi and begged 
for some land which when received was immediately 
given as gift to poor brahmins. After that he went and 
bathed in the Papanasana tirtha situated in the mount 
of Venkatacala. Bhadramati got salvation by this good 
deed. (Skanda2,l,10). 

BHADRASAKA. A name of Subrahmanya. It is the figure 
of Subrahmanya in the shape of a goat that is known 
as BhadraSaka. (Sloka 4, Chapter 228, Vana Parva, 

BHADRASALA(M). A forest on the top of the Moun- 
tain Bhadrasvavarsa which lies to the east of 
Mahameru. There is a tree called Kalamra in this 
forest. This is a very sacred tree standing miles 
high above other trees and is being worshipped by 
the Vrddhacaranas. By worshipping this tree the 
men have become white and majestic and by drink- 
ing a juice prepared from its leaves the women keep 
themselves eternally young. Chapter seven of Bhisma 
Parva says like this about this tree: "Kalamra stands 
towering miles high bearing flowers and fruits at all 
times of the year. The Vrddhacaranas worshipping it 
are white, strong and majestic. The women drinking 
its juice are lotus-complexioned, beautiful, Moonfaced, 

well versed in music and dance and having a life-span of 
over a thousand years, remaining young all the time." 

BHADRASAJR.A. A king in the region of Kasmira. His 
only son, Sudharrnan, was very much devoted to Siva 
and spent most of his time worshipping him. The 
father tried his best to withdraw his son from this ex- 
cessive devotion but failed. 

Then one day the great sage, Parasara, came to the 
King as his guest and the King then requested him to 
make his son withdraw from his Siva-worship. But 
Parasara tht-n told him about the previous life of 
Sudharma and consoling him persuaded the King to do 
the 'Rudrabhiseka' (uninterrupted pouring of cold 
water over an idol of Siva) by himself. The king then 
entrusted the state with his son and left for the forests 
accepting an ascetic life. ( Skandha Purana, 3.3.20-21). 

BHADRASENA. A king. Uddfdaka Maharsi performed 
a demoniac yaga to destroy this king. (Satapatha- 

BHADRAJsRAVAS. A king whom the Puranas extol as 
having ruled Sauras{ra in Dvaparayuga. At the forest 
of Naimisa sage Suta told the following story to explain 
how LaksmI (goddess of wealth) took her abode in the 
houses of men. 

Bhadrasrava ( BhadraSravas) who was ruling Saurasfra 
had seven sons and a daughter of his wife Suraticand- 
rika. The daughter was named Syamabala. Once 
truthful-Syamabala was sitting under a green-wood tree 
with her playmates playing with diamonds and gold 
sand when the goddess of wealth disguised as an aged 
brahmin woman went to the gates of the palace and asked 
for permission to see the queen, Suraticandrika. The 
sentries pressed for details about her and then she said 
this : "My name is Kamala. My husband is a man named 
Bhuvanasva and we live in Dvaraka. Your queen in her 
previous birth was a Vaisya woman. One day she quar- 
relled with her husband and he beat her hard and then 
crying loudly she ran out of the house. I met her and 
when she told me her story I instructed her to observe 
a Punyavrata (Fasting to any particular deity). She did 
it willingly and as a result she acquired great wealth 
and happiness. 

One day the husband and wife died. Yama, the king 
of Death, then sent his orderlies to bring before him 
that couple who had always quarrelled with each other 
while living. Bound by ropes the ghastly servants of 
Yama were about to drag them to their land when the 
angelic servants of Visnu with the insignia of 'Sarhkha- 
Cakra-Gada' on their lapels arrived there and those 
messengers of Laksmi headed by Svaprakasa cut off the 
ropes and carrying them in a Rajahariisa chariot took 
them through noble paths to the land of LaksmI. They 
lived there happily for a period calculated at the rate of 
a thousand years for one week of Punyavrata observed. 
In the end to complete the goodness remaining they 
were born as King and queen on earth with plenty 
of wealth and happiness. But they have now forgotten 
about the Punyavrata and I have come here to remind 
them of it." 

The gate-keeper immediately went to her mistress and 
told her all that happened. But the queen, Suraticand- 
rika got angry when she heard the story and ordered 
the old woman to be sent away from there with thrash- 
es. The old woman ran away from the palace crying 
loudly and Syamabala on hearing the cry went and 


enquired about the incident. On hearing the story 
from the woman Syamabala got instructions regarding 
that Punyavrata from the old woman and started 
observing it. Within four weeks she got married and 
went to her husband's house. After Syamabala.' s depar- 
ture from the palace the wealth of the King began to 
wane and they became so poor that at the request of the 
queen the King Bhadrasrava went to his daughter to ask 
for help. The daughter gave his father a block of solid 
gold drapped in a paper. But on his return to the 

Calace when he opened the bundle he found there a 
lock of charcoal instead of gold. On seeing the mis- 
hap the king burst into a cry. 

Suraticandrika then went to her daughter and was well 
received and attended to. During her stay there the 
Punyavrata day of the month came and the daughter 
tried her best to make her mother also observe the 
same. But the poverty-stricken queen broke the fast 
without her daughter's knowledge by eating what re- 
mained in the dishes of the children. But the next 
month Syamabala compelled her mother to observe the 
fast strictly and so Suraticandrika took the Vrata 
successfully. A few days after that Suraticandrika re- 
turned home and to her amazement found everything 
in plenty there once more. (Chapter 11, Bhaga 2, 
Padma Purana). 

BHADRASREX YA. A Hehaya King who was ruling a 
state with Mahismati as capital. He had fought many 
wars with Divodasa, king of KasT. (See under Divo- 


BHADRASVA I. A king of Puruvamia. He was the son 
of Rahovadi. BhadrasVa had ten sons: Rkseyu, Krseyu, 
Sannateyu, Ghrteyu, Citeyu, Sthandileyu, Dharmeyu, 
Sammiteyu, Krteyu and Matinara. (Chapter 278, Agni 
Purana ) . 

Once Agastya went and stayed for seven days in the 
palace of Bhadrasva and his wife Kantimati. Every- 
day Agastya used to speak in glowing terms about 
Kantimati and asked about the reason for it he replied : 
"In her previous birth Kantimati was a servant girl in 
a wealthy house. The masterof the house once entrust- 
ed her with the task of seeing that none of the temple 
lights went put on the night of DvadasI in the month 
of Tula (Asvina October). She did her duty so 
willingly and sincerely that she was born as a queen and 
you a King". Then Agastya gave them instructions 
about that Vrata which both Bhadrasva and Kantimati 
observed sincerely, receiving as a result benediction 
from Visnu. (Vayu Purana). 

BHADRASVA II. Agnidhra, son of Priyavrata and 
grandson of Manu, got nine sons of his wife Purvacitti, 
a celestial maiden. One of the sons was BhadrasVa! 
His brothers were Nabhi, Kirhpurusa, Hari, Ilavrta, 
Ramyaka, Hiranmaya, Kuru andKetumala. The coun- 
try ruled by Bhadrasva was called Bhadrasva lying 
to the east of the mountain Gandhamadana. (Pancama 
Skandha, Bhaga vata). 

BHADRASVA. An island near the mountain of Meru. 
Dharmaputra was ruling this land and Sanjaya once 
described this land to Dhrtarastra. (Chapter 14, Santi 
Parva and Chapter 7, Bhlsma Parva). 

BHADRATANU. An immoral brahmin. On the advice 

I of Danta he became a devotee of Visnu and attained 
salvation. (Padma Purana, Kriya, Chapter 17). 
BHADRATUNGA. A sacred place; a dip in the holy 


waters of this place would entitle one to Brahmaloka. 
(Vana Parva, Chapter 82, Verse 80). 
BHADRAVATA. The abode of ParvatI and Para- 
mcsvara. The glory of it is described in Chapter 82 
Vana Parva, M.B. 

BHADRAYU. A king who was a devotee of Siva. He 
was a leper and in his life he suffered much, even the 
pangs of death. His wife was the dutiful and good 
natured lady, Kirtimalinl. 

On the sixteenth birthday of Bhadrayu Siva appeared 
before him in the name of Rsabha and blessed him 
after instructing him on the precepts of Rajadharma. 
He further gave him a dagger and a conch as weapons 
and twelve thousand elephants. With the might of all 
these, Bhadrayu became unconquerable. (Siva Purana, 
batarudrasamhita) . 

One day, while Bhadrayu was ruling the country, Siva 
came in the guise of a tiger and carried away the wife 
of a brahmin. Bhadrayu, a firm protector of his sub- 
jects gave his own wife to the brahmin and prepared 
himself to give up his life in fire. Siva greatly pleased 
at this selfless act of Bhadrayu befitting a true King 
appeared before him and blessed him and gave back 
the brahmin his wife. 

Bhadrayu in his previous birth was a King called 
Mandara and Klrtimalini in her previous birth was 
Pingala, queen of Mandara. (Skanda Purana, 3.3.12; 


1 ) General. One of the twelve Adityas born as sons of 
Kasyapa prajapati by his wife, Aditi. Visnu, Sakra, 
Aryaman, Dhata, Tvasta, Pusa, Vivasvan, Savita, 
Mitra, Varuna, AmSu and Bhaga these are the Dva- 
dasadityas, and they were Devas famous as Tusitas in 
the last Caksusamanvantara. 

2) Other information. ( 1 ) Bhaga married Siddhi, and the 
couple begot three sons called Mahiman, Vibhu and 
Prabhu and three daughters called Suvrata, Vararoha, 
and Asls. 

(2) Bhaga participated in the birthday celebrations of 
Arjuna. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 122, Verse 66). 

(3) At the time of Khandavadaha (burning of the 
Khandava forest) Bhaga, as a supporter of Indra, who 
was fighting Arjuna and Sri Krsna, sprang upon the 
enemies with sword in hand. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chap- 
ter 236, Verse 36) . 

(4) Bhaga shines forth in Indra's assembly. (M.B., 
Sabha Parva, Chapter 7, Verse 22). 

(5) Bhaga was also present at the installation of Subrah- 
manya as commander of the fighting forces. (M.B., 
Salya Parva, Chapter 45) . 

(6 ) After Dcvayuga (Deva age) , the Devas asembled 
together and decided upon the share of yajfias due to 
each of them, and in thus fixing shares they left out 
Rudra. Enraged at this neglect Rudra made a bow 
and fought against the Devas. During the fight Rudra, 
with the point of his bow, extracted the hands of 
Savita, the eyes of Bhaga and the teeth of Pusa. Ulti- 
mately the Devas satisfied and pleased. Rudra, who 
returned to Bhaga and others the eyes etc. which had 
been extracted. (M.B., Sauptika Parva). 

BHAGA II. Certain Puranas refer to Bhaga as one of 
the eleven Rudras. But, this view is not universally 




BHAGA III. A vedic god considered to be the lord of 
wealth, prowess and happiness. Bhaga is also one of 
the six Adityas mentioned in the Rgveda, viz. Bhaga, 
Mitra, Aryainfi, Varuna, Daksa and Arhsa. (Rgveda, 

BHAGADA. An attendant (woman) of Subrahmanya. 
(Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse 26) . 

BHAGADATTA. Bhagadatta was King of Pragjyotisa- 
pura. Mahabharata furnishes the following information 
about him. 

1) Bhagadatta was born from a limb of the asura 
called Biskala. (M.B., Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 


2) He was present at the wedding of Pancali. (Adi 

Parva, Chapter 185, Verse 12). 

3 ) Known also as lord of the Yavanas (Yavanadhipa) . 
Bhagadatta was a friend of Pandu, and that friendship 
was transferred to Yudhisthira too. (Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 14, Verse 14). 

4) The triumphal tour of Arjuna in connection with 
the Rajasuya yajna performed by Yudhisthira evoked 
feelings of jealousy in the heart of Bhagadatta, and he 
fought against Arjuna. The courage and prowess Arjuna 
exhibited in the fight astonished Bhagadatta, who 
congratulated Arjuna on his supreme courage and 
admitting defeat yielded to Arjuna. (Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 26, Verse?). 

5) Bhagadatta, along with the Yavanas was present at 
the Rajasuya of Yudhisthira. He also made presents of 
horses of very high pedigree and very costly gems etc. 
(Sabha Parva, Chapter 51, Verse 14). 

6) Kama once defeated Bhagadatta in fight. (Vana 
Parva, Chapter 254, Verse 5). 

7) In the great war he, with his army, fought on the 
side of Duryodhana. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 19, 
Verse 15). 

8) During the first day of the war Bhagadatta fought 
a duel with the King of Virata. (Bhlsma Parva, Chap- 
ter 45, Verse 49) . 

9) He was defeated in his fight with Ghatotkaca. 
(Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 64, Verse 59). 

10) In the fight which took place after the above de- 
feat Bhagadatta caused Bhlmasena to faint in the field. 
(Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 64, Verse 13). 

1 1 ) And after that he defeated Ghatotkaca in fight. 
(Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 83, Verse 40). 

12) Next ensued the combat with King Dasarna in 
which the King was defeated. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 
95, Verse 48) . 

13) It was not long after this that Bhagadatta cut off 
the hands of the Ksatradeva. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 
95, Verse 73). 

14) ViSoka, the charioteer of Bhlma-sena, hit by the 
arrows of Bhagadatta fell down and fainted. (Bhlsma 
Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 76). 

15) Bhagadatta and Satyaki fought against each other. 
(Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 111, Verse 7). 

16) Chapters 113 and 114 of the Bhlsma Parva d.s- 
cribe the combats fought by Bhagadatta with Bhlma- 
sena and Arjuna. 

17) Bhagadatta and Drupada fought with each other. 
(Drona Parva, Chapter 14, Verse 40). 

18) Bhagadatta killed king Dasama. (Drona Parva, 
Chapter 26, Verse 38) . 

19) Bhagadatta killed Ruciparvan. (Drona Parva, 
Chapter 26, Verse 52) . 

20) He shot the Vaisnavastra (arrow given by Visnu) 
on Arjuna. (Drona Parva, Chapter 29, Verse 17). 

21) Aijuna killed Bhagadatta. (Drona Parva, Chapter 
29, Verse 48). 

22) After his death, his son, Vajradatta became King 
of Pragjyotisa. Arjuna killed Vajradatta also. (Asva- 
medha Parva, Chapter 76) . 

23) King Sailalaya, who was Bhagadatta's grandfather, 
attained Indraloka on account of the greatness of his 
tapas. (Asrainavasika Parva, Chapter 20, Verse 10). 

BHAGANANDA. An attendant woman of Subrahmanya. 
(Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse 11). 

BHAGA VADDHYANAPARVA. A sub-parva of Udyoga- 
Parva. It comprises chapters 72-150 in Udyoga Parva. 

BHAGA VATA. One of the eighteen famous Puranas. 
Gayatrl is the main theme of this Purana and based on 
it it dwells on the greatness of Dharma (duty) and states 
about the dharmas of Sarasvatakalpa. (See under 
Purana) . 


1) General. The Bhagavad Gita is a poem consisting of 
650 verses divided into eighteen chapters. The Gita 
covers chapters 25-45 in the Bhlsma Parva of the Maha- 
bharata, and it is in the form of a talk or discussion 
between Arjuna and Lord Krsna. The mighty armies 
of the Pandavas and the Kauravas were arrayed on 
opposite sides for mortal combat on the field of Kuru- 
ksetra when Arjuna, overcome by grief at the prospect 
of fathers, brothers, preceptors and other Kinsmen 
fighting and killing one another expressed to his 
charioteer, Sri Krsna his aversion to fighting. But, the 
Lord pointed out to the unwilling Arjuna, by unique 
and various arguments, his imperative duty, under the 
circumstance, to fight and fight in heroic earnestness with 
the result that Arjuna shed his disinclination to fight and 
entered (he fray, which ended in the ultimate victory 
of the Pandavas. And the dialogue between Arjuna 
and Krsna, and especially the great teaching of Krsna 
the "field form the theme of the Gita. The Gita 


contains three spheres or fields of teaching; the karma 
yoga (philosophy of action) , jnana yoga (philosophy of 
knowledge) and Bhaktiyoga (philosophy of devotion). 
The three yogas are treated each in six chapters. 
The theme of the Gita is philosophy, and it is revered 
as one of the most sublime philosophical texts of the 
Hindu religion. Many a great thinker and philosopher 
like Acarya Sahkara, Ramanujacarya and Madhva- 
carya have annotated, and written commentaries on 
the Gita. There is a school of thought which believes 
that the Gita was taught to Arjuna by Krrna himself 
on the battle-field in something like tabloid form and 
that Vyasa eleborated the mighty teaching in its present 
form. The poet, Bana, who flourished in the 7th 
century A.D., and the great Sankara, who lived in the 
8th century believed that the Gita was sung by Krsna 
himself. But there are some modern thinkers, who 
argue that the Gita was composed some time between 
the third and fourth centuries B.C. and it was inter- 
polated into the Mahabharata in the second century 

The Gita has translations in all the languages of the 
world. The whole world has acclaimed it as a very 




weighty and valuable contribution in the sphere of 


2) Theme of the Gitd. It has been mentioned above that 

the Glta forms chapters 25-45 in the Bhisma Parva of 

the Mahabharata. The subject-matter of each chapter 

of the Glta is given below. 

Chapter 25. Arjunavifdda yoga; Both the armies take 

positions in Kuruksetra. At the sound of the conches 

Aijuna becomes dejected and sorrowful at the prospect 

of killing relations, preceptors and Kinsmen. 

Chapter 26. Sdrhkhya yoga : The greatness and majesty 

of the Samkhya and the Karma yogas. 

Chapter 27. Karma yoga : The need for action according 

to the Jftana and the Karma yogas. 

Chapter 28. Jndnakarma Vibhaga yoga : Power of Saguna 

Brahma (Brahma with attributes) , Niskama-karma 

yoga (Action without an eye on the result) spiritual 

greatness of various yajftas. 

Chapter 29. Sannyasa yoga : Samkhya yoga, Niskama- 

karma yoga, Jnana yoga, Jftana yoga with Bhakti. 

Chapter 30. Atmasamyama yoga : Niskamakarma yoga, 

Atmodharana, Jfianayoga. 

Chapter 31. Jfianayoga: Jnanavijfianas, origin of the 

world, the Daiva and Asura aspects of Isvara, worship 

of other Devas. 

Chapter 32 . Tarakabrahma yoga : Seven questions of 

Arjuna about Brahma, Atmatatva and Karma. Sri 

Krsna's answers thereto. Bhakti yoga, the Sukla and 

the Krsna margas. 

Chapter 33. Rdjardja guhya yoga : Jnana and Vijnana, 

origin of the world, Is"varasvarupa, 

pasana, Bhagavadbhakti. 

Chapter 34. Vibhuti yoga : ~ Bhagavan's Vibhuti (Divine 

attributes) , Bhakti yoga. 

Chapter 35. ViwarupadarSanayoga : Arjuna's prayer 

to be shown Visvarupa (cosmic form), description of 

visvarupa by Sri Krsna and Sanjaya, Sri Krsna reveals 

visvarupa to Arjuna; fear-stricken at the sight, Arjuna 

sings the praise of Krsna. 

Chapter 36. Bhaktiyoga : The great benefits of wor- 
shipping God with form and without form. 
Chapter 37. Kfttrakfttrqjfta Vibhaga yoga : Description 
of Ksetraksetrajfia with Jnana, and of Prakrti and 

Chapter 38. Gunatrayavibhaga yoga: The greatness of 
Jnana; world's origin from Prakrti and Purusa, the 
three gunas, sattva, rajas and tamas; means to attain 
god; marks of Yugatltapurusa. 

Chapter 39. Punt fottama yoga: Essential principles of 
world and life, attainment of God, relationship bet- 
ween Jivatma and Paramatma, principle and theory of 
ksara purusa and aksara purusa. 

Chapter 40. Daivdsura sampadvibhaga yoga: Good ac- 
tions, evil deeds, scientific actions and unscientific 

Chapter 41. Sraddhatrayavibhdga yoga : Descriptions of 
Scientific tapas, diet, yajnatapas and dana. Interpre- 
tation of Om. 

Chapter 42. Mok$asannydsa yoga: Tyagam, Sarhkhya 
theory, Varnadharmas, jnananistha, Niskamakarmayoga 
with bhakti and the greatness of the Glta. 
(For another story about the greatness of the Glta 
see Dussasana II). 

BHAGAVATl. The words Bhagavan and Bhagavati 
mean Paramatma (universal self) and Prakrti (Nature 

and its modifications) respectively. Prakrti is also 
called by the name Sakti. The following elucidation 
once given by Mahavisnu about Bhagavan and Bhaga- 
vati is greatly illuminating. 

Time, space, atmosphere and the universe (Brah- 
mandam) are, just like Paramatma, eternal. This is the 
truth and reality. Below this eternal Gokula exists 
Vaikunthaloka, which also is, like the former, eternal. 
Just like this, Prakrti, which is a sport to Brahma and 
is also without beginning or end (SanatanI) too is 
eternal. In the same manner as flame exists in fire in- 
separable from it, moonlight in moon, beauty in the 
lotus flower and brightness in the sun, so does nature 
exist in soul inseparable therefrom. In the same way 
as the goldsmith cannot make gold ornaments without 
gold and the potter cannot make pots without clay, the 
Paramatma will not in the least be able to function 
unaided by Prakrti. Prakrti (Nature, Devi) is all power- 
ful. 'Para' becomes powerful enough to do everything 
when he joins the Devi. 

The sound 'Sa' means welfare and good fortune, and 
the sound 'kti' means prowess. Hence ''Sakti" means 
the embodiment of welfare and prowess or she, who is 
the giver of welfare and prowess. Bhagavati combines 
in herself knowledge, affluence, riches, fame and strength. 
As the Paramatma is always with and inseparable from 
such Bhagavati he is called Bhagavan also. When 
Prakrti and Paramatma remain combined it is called 
Parabrahma, which possesses neither form nor attri- 
butes. And, when Prakrti and Purusa separate, of their 
own accord, they assume forms and attributes. 
The above is Saiva doctrine in a nut-shell. The 
Vaisnavas do not accept this position. They ask, "How 
is it possible to have brightness or effulgence without 
there being an effulgent one?" Therefore, the Vaisnavas 
believe in the existence, at the centre of an effulgent 
sphere, of a thing possessing the utmost effulgence and 
brightness equal to that of Brahma. This 'thing' 
Deva is very efficient and effective to remedy sorrows 
due to birth, death, disease etc. and to him the life- 
time of Brahma is just one minute only. This Deva is 
called Paramatma, Parabrahma and Krsna by the 
Vaisnavas. 'Krs' means maximum devotion (love) 
towards Paramatma, and 'na' means he who becomes 
slave to such devotion. Hence Krsna means he who 
becomes a slave to the love of his devotees. There Is 
another meaning also for the word Krsna. Krs means 
all and 'na' means seed or root; and thus Kfsna means 
he, who is the root of everything. In the very begin- 
ning there was only this Krsna ; and this Lord, sub- 
ject only to his own will and pleasure, divided him- 
self into two, the left side becoming woman and the 
right side man. (Devi Bhagavata, Navama Skandha) . 

BHAGINI. A word used in addressing women. Verse 
129 in chapter two of the Manusmrti lays down that 
the wife of another person and women who are not 
one's relatives should be addressed either as Bhavati, 
Subhage or Bhagini. 


1) Genealogy. Descended from Visnu thus: Brahma- 
Marici - KaSyapa-Vivasvan-Vaivasvata manu-Iksvaku- 
Vikuksi-Sasada -Kakutstha-Anenas-PrthulaSva-Prasena- 
jit-Yuvanaiva - Mandhata - Purukutsa - Trasadasyu- 
Anaranya-HaryaSva-Vasumanas - Sudhanva - Traiyya- 
runa-Satyavrata or TriSahku - HariScandra-RohitaSva- 




Harita - Cuflcu - Sudeva - Bharuka - Bahuka - Sagara- 
2) Recluse. Many years had not lapsed after his coro- 
nation as King when, in the heart of Bhagiratha spiri- 
tual thoughts began to crop up. A great sage called 
Tritula was his guru. Once Bhagiratha asked the guru 
what was the means to get rid of worldly sorrows, and 
the guru replied as follows: 

The ego will be annihilated when the tendencies and 
cravings towards objects of the senses are absolutely 
suppressed and the whole and perfect truth is realised 
through knowledge, the practice of concentration etc. 
The ego will not disappear as long as one does not 
become one's real self by completely overcoming the 
sense of pride, shame etc. which form the outer case 
of worldly life. The egoless state is the ultimate 
achievement and most supreme state. Oh ! Bhagiratha ! 
if you would get rid of sentiments like pride etc., give 
up all attachment to material objects, become fearless 
and gift away, with thoughts concentrated on the inner 
self, all your wealth to enemies, and then move among 
those enemies, without any sense of ego and pride 
about this material body, and take alms from them 
(enemies) and also give up me, who am your preceptor 
in the matter of knowledge ; then you will become the 
most sublime Brahma". This advice of the guru 
affected him so much that Bhagiratha, holding his 
duties firmly in mind, engaged himself in spiritual 
practices, and after spending some time thus he per- 
formed, according to rules, the Agnistoma yajfta aimed 
at gifting away everything. All wealth like cows, land, 
horses, gold etc. were distributed in gifts to noble 
brahmins and the poor folk according to their eligibi- 
lity for the same. Within three days he had gifted away 
everything except the clothes he was wearing. And, 
then he invited his neighbouring enemy king and gave 
to him, without the least hesitation, the kingdom which 
had been bereft of all wealth. The ministers and other 
citizens felt very sorry about the whole thing. But, Bha- 
giratha left the country at once for other places having 
with him only the clothes he was wearing. He spent his 
days in various places and forests where he was not 
known even by name. Ere long, Bhagiratha attained 
ultimate spiritual solace. And, then he accidentally 
came to his former kingdom, which was then being 
ruled by the enemy King. The ministers and other 
citizens to whose houses he went begging for alms 
recognised him, and with sorrow unbearable they 
appealed to him to accept the throne again and rule 
the country. Bhagiratha rejected their request, and, 
after staying there for some time, he started for other 
places. During this wandering of his he met his old 
preceptor, Tritula, and both of them, in company, 
toured for some time cities and forests. They felt it very 
painful to keep on to their body like that. They 
thought like this : "Why should the body be kept like 
this. What if this material object continues to exist 
or perishes ? But let it (the body) continue as long as 
it exists without in any way being against the order 
of things and ethical practices". And, in this frame of 
mind they traversed the forests. Now, the minister of 
a distant kingdom who was on the look out for a 

successor to the King who had died heirless, persuaded 
Bhagiratha to accept the Kingship of that country. The 
ministers of Bhagiratha 's former Kingdom also now 
requested him to resume his old kingship, especially 
since its new ruler had already expired. Bhagiratha 
obliged them, and became once again King of his own 
country. (Jfianavasis{ham) . 

3) Bhagirathaprayatnam. (Himalayan or Herculean effort). 
Sagara, an old predecessor of Bhagiratha had two 
wives called Kisim and Sumati. KeSini had one son 
named Asamanjas and Sumati 60,000 sons. Sagara 
once conducted an Asvamedha yajfia in the Indo- 
Gangetic plane, when Indra stole away the sacrificial 
horse and kept it quite near to sage Kapila who was 
doing tapas in Patala. The 60,000 sons of Sagara set 
out in search of the horse and found it out in Patala. 
At the sight of the horse they shouted themselves 
hoarse. Enraged at this sage Kapila reduced those sons 
of Sagara to ashes in the fire which emanated from his 

After entrusting Asamanjas with the duty of perform- 
ing the funeral rites of his 60,000 sons Sagara expired. 
Asamanjas transferred that duty on to Arhsuman, and 
he to Bhagiratha. Bhagiratha did penance on the sea- 
shore concentrating his mind on Gangadevi. The Devi 
appeared before Bhagiratha and asked him to choose 
what boon he would, and he requested the Devi to per- 
form the funeral rites of 60,000 sons of Sagara remain- 
ing in the form of ashes in Patala. To this Gangadevi 
replied that the earth will not be able to withstand 
the impact of her powerful flow, but she shall, if Siva 
permits, flow into his matted hair. And, Gangadevi 
?sked Bhagiratha to first get that permission. This did 
not dishearten Bhagiratha, who went to mount Kailasa 
to do penance so that Siva might grant him his prayer. 
He thus did penance for 1000 years. Siva appeared to 
him and agreed to receive the rushing flow of Ganga 
water on his matted head. And, accordingly Siva stood 
in position to receive the rushing waters of Ganga, and 
Ganga flowed on to his head. Even the most powerful 
flow of Ganga water on his head did not cause Siva to 
move from his position even by a hair's breadth. This 
awakened the conceit in Gangadevi, understanding 
which Siva contained her on his head. Without finding 
any outlet the waters of river Ganga flowed along the 
matted hairs of Siva for thousand years. So, Bhagi- 
ratha had once again to please Siva. Thus pleased 
again Siva shook his matted head and one drop of 
water fell on the ground, and that is the river Ganges 
in North India. The Ganga flowed along plane ground 
to Patala and performed the funeral rites of Sagara's 
sons. (M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 108 ; Valmiki 
Ramayana, Bala Kanda, Canto 42; Brahmanda 
purana, Chapter 97 ;Bhagavata, Navama Skandha, 
Kampa Ramayana (Tamil), Yuddha Kanda; Padma 
Purana, Part 4, Chapter 21 ). 

4) Other Information. 

(1) Bhagiratha is a member of Yama's assembly and 
serves him. (M.B., Sabha Parva, Chapter 8, Verse 11 ). 

(2) Siva bestowed boons on him. (Vana Parva, Chapter 
180, Verse 1). 

According to verse 12, Chapter 25, of Vana Parva, Bhagiratha is 
the son of Amsuman. 

the sen of DilTja. Fit nctt cf il.c Turf.iss nftr to him a 




(3)Bhagiratha had faith in the great efficacy of making 
a gift of cows. (AnuSasana Parva, Chapter 76, Verse 

(4) He married his daughter to Kautsa. (AnuSasana 
Parva, Chapter 131, Verse 25). 

(5) Once Bhagiratha made a gift of one lakh of cows 
with calves to Maharsi Kohala, and attained Uttama- 
loka. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 137, Verse 27). 

BHAGlRATHl. Another name of Gariga. (See under 

BHAGNARATHA. A synonym of Citraratha. (See 

BHAGUR1. A man of great erudition, Bhaguri was 
noted for his proficiency as a SarvaSfistra Pandit 
(scholar of all sciences), Vyakaranakara (grammarian), 
Kosakara (etymologist) , Jyotissastrajfia (Astronomer) 
and Smrtikara (authority on Smrti) . 

BHAIRAVA I. A naga belonging to the Dhrtarastra 
Varhs'a. There is a reference to this naga in Maha- 
bharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 51, Verse 17. He was 
burnt up at the Sarpasatra performed by King Janame- 

BHAIRAVA II. A Parsada of Siva. 

1) General. Immediately after his birth, this terrible 
monster subdued all the Devas without getting the 
permission of Siva. Enraged at it, Siva turned him into 
a tree by a curse. But Siva was soon pacified and lifted 
the curse by declaring that those who offered puja to 
the gods would get the full reward for their worship 
only if they offered puja to Bhairava also. 

Bhairava became a tree as soon as he was cursed. He 
became a tree because he subdued the gods. Therefore 
that tree came to be called "DAMANAKA" tree 
(Damana = Subdue). It has another name, "TATIRI" 
tree. Even now, pious people offer puja to this tree. 
(Agni Purana, Chapters 52-80). 

2) Birth. Once Brahma and Visnu became swollen 
with pride. In his haughty way, Brahma insulted Siva. 
Under the insult, Siva was infuriated and out of the 
fire of his fury was born Bhairava with his black form. 
(Linga Purana 1 .90) . 

3) Brahmahatya. As soon as he was born, Bhairava 
rushed towards Brahma and pinched off his fifth head 
which had insulted Siva. By this, he incurred the sin 
of Brahmahatya. For the expiation of this sin, as 
ordered by Siva, Bhairava started on a journey to go 
abegging, with Brahma's severed head in his hand. 
Siva then created a woman named "Brahmahatya" 
and asked her to follow Bhairava. 

Although Bhairava visited many holy places, he was 
not able to liberate himself from the sin of Brahma- 
hatya. At last, at the suggestion of Siva, he went to 
Varanasi and washed off his sin. Brahma's head which 
he carried, was also deposited there and the place be- 
came famous under the name of "Kaplilamocana 
tirtha". (Siva Purana, Satarudra Sarhhita). 

4) Family. In Kalika Purana there is an elaborate 
account of the family of Bhairava. According to this 
Purana, Vijaya, the reputed King of Varanasi was born 
in the family of Bhairava. Kalika Purana also says 
that Vijaya destroyed the Khandavl city and set up 
the Khandava forest in its place- 
According to Kalika Purana, Bhairava and Vetala 
were, in their previous births, two Sivap Irsadas named 
Mahakala and Bhrhgi. It was by the curse of Parvatl. 

that they were born as mortals in their next birth. 
(Kalika Purana 53). 

The Puranas mention eight Bhairavas called Asitarhga, 
Ruru, Canda, Krodha, Unmatta, Kapiili, Bhlsana and 

5) Shape. Bhairava has a terrible shape. He wears the 
crescent moon and plaited hair on his head. His wea- 
pons are, sword, arrow, dagger, bow, trident, rope 
etc. At times he is dressed in elephant-skin. He has 
five faces. Serpents are his ornaments. (Agni Purana, 
Chapters 52-80). 

BHAIRAVl. One of the eight Ambas. They are : 
Rudrarcika, Rudracandl, NatesVari, Mahalaksmi, 
Siddhacamundika, SiddhayogeSvari, Bhairavl and 
Rupavidya. All these are the eight different forms of 
Devi. (See the word DEVl). 

BHAJAMANA. A Yadava King, whose father was Sat- 
vata and mother Kausalya, and they had, beside 
Bhajamana, another son called Satvata or Andhaka. 
Bhajamana married the two daughters of S njaya, 
named Bahyaka and Upabahyaka by whom he got six 
sons. (Bhagavata, Navama Skandha). 

BHAJYA. An acarya in the line of the Rk disciples of 
Vyasa. Bhajya studied Valakhilyasarhhita at the feet of 
his guru Biiskali. (Bhagavata, Dvadasa Skandha). 

BHAKSAKA. A Sudra sinner. In Paclma Purana the 
following story is related about this Sudra. 
Bhaksaka who was once going aimlessly somewhere 
felt extremely thirsty, and quenched his thirst by 
drinking water which was found near the small plat- 
form raised for the holy Tulasi shrub. The sanctity of 
the water thus drunk washed away all the sin attached 
to him. Some time later he was killed by a forest- 
dweller, and he attained svargaloka (heaven) . Bhaksaka, 
in his previous birth, was a king who led a voluptuous 
life, and he, once, robbed a very beautiful woman of 
her chastity, and it was as a punishment for the sin 
that the King had to be born, in the next birth, in the 
womb of a Sudra woman. (Padma PurSna, Brahma 
Kanda, Chapter 22). 

BHAKTI. A Devi born in Dravida deSa (Southern 
India) . Once Devi, along with her two sons, Jnana 
and Vairagya, started on a walking tour to Gokula and 
Vrndavana via Karnataka, Maharastra and Gurjara 
(Gujarat) . During the long tour the mother and her 
sons became aged. But, as soon as they set foot on 
Gokula and Vrndavana old age quitted Bhakti and 
she became young again. But, her sons remained old. 
So the mother requested Narada to turn them young 
again. Narada read out to them the Vedas, the 
Vedanta (Upanisads) and the Bhagavad Gita, all to no 
purpose. Bhakti's sons still remained old. Then Sanaka, 
Sananda and Sanatkumara asked Narada to read out 
the Bhagavata to them. Narada did so, and the sons of 
Bhakti Devi became young again. (Padma Purana). 

BHALANDANA. A king. Though by birth he was a 
brahmin he became a VaiSya because of doing things 
belonging to the VaiSya community like trade and 
commerce. (Markandeya Purana) . According to, the 
Bhagavata, Visnu Purana and Vayu Purana Bhalan- 
dana was the son of Nabhaga. 

BHALLATA. A king of the line of Bharata. He was the 
son of King Visvaksena and father of King Brhada!va. 
(Navama Skandha, Bhagavata). 




BHALLATA(M). A place of habitation in ancient India. 
Bhimasena conquered this land during his victory march. 
(Sloka 5, Chapter 30, Sabha Parva, M.B.). 
BHALUKI I. A Rsi, who was a member of Yudhis(hi- 
ra's assembly. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, Verse 15). 

BHALUKI II. A maharsi. He also accompanied the 
Pandavas to Dvaitavana. (Vana Parva, Chapter 27). 

BHALUKI III. An acfirya. He was a disciple of Larigali, 
a member of the Sfuna line of disciples of Vyasa. 
(Vayu Purana). 

BHAMAHA. A critic who lived in the sixth century A.D. 
He was one of the top critics in the Sanskrit language. 
His important work is 'Kavyalamkara'. This is also 
called Bhamahalarhkaraby a few. There are six chapters 
in this. The first chapter deals with KavyaSarira, the 
second and third with Alaihkara, the fourth with Kavya- 
dosa the fifth with Nyaya and the sixth with Sabdasud- 
dhi. As against Datidi Bhamaha separates 'Katha' from 
'Akhyayika'. According to him the requisites of a good 
Kavya are sweetness, pleasantness and liveliness. Dandi 
prescribes ten attributes for a good Kavya. Bhamaha is 
of opinion that Vakrokti is no alarhkara at all. In 
a wider sense it is 'atisayokti' (exaggeration). But 
Bhamaha admits it has a place in Kavya. 

BHAMINl. Wife of Aviksit, King of Vaigali. The 
famous Marutta is the son born to this couple. The 
Markandeya Purana states that Bhamini once went to 
Nagaloka to give refuge to the serpents there. 

BHANAVl. A river. Sri Rama and Laksmana on their 
way to the forests from Citrakufa crossed this river, 
Bhanavi. (Sarga 52, Ayodhya Kanda, Valmlki Rama- 
yana) . 

BHA^'pAYANI. A maharsi. This sage sits in Devaloka 
and worships Indra. (Sloka 12, Chapter 7, Sabha Parva, 

BHA\*plRA(M). An ancient forest. It was in this 
forest situated in Arhbadi that Sri Krsna with his cow- 
herd chums conducted his childhood exploits. There 
was a very huge tree of name Bhandlra in this forest 
and it was under this great tree that Krsna and his 
friends met daily for their play. This forest is on the 
northern bank of Gaiiga in front of Kesighatta in 
Vrndavana. The Puranas proclaim that it was here that 
Brahma conducted the marriage of Krsna withRadha. 
(Chapter 38, Sabha Parva, Daksinatya Pa jha, M.B.). 

BHANGA. A serpent born in the Taksaka dynasty. 
Bhaiiga was burnt to ashes at the Serpent Yajna per- 
formed by King Janamejaya. (M.B., Chapter 57, 
Verse 9) . 

BHANGAKARA I. A king, son of Aviksit and grandson 
of King Kuru of the Lunar dynasty. ( Adi Parva, Chap- 
ter 94, Verse 53). 

BHANGAKARA II. A king of the Yadu dynasty. He 
attended the grand celebrations held at Mount Raivata. 
(Adi Parva, Chapter 218, Verse 11) . 

BHANGASURI I. Another name of King Rtuparna. 

BHANGASVAN ( BHANGASVANA) . A king in ancient 
India. For the story of his transformation into a woman 

refer to para 42 under 'Indra'. 

BHANU I. A son born to Krsna of Satyabhama. (Dasama 
Skandha, Bhagavata) . 

BHANU II. Son of Dyau; this Bhanu was a guru of 
Surya. (Sloka 42, Chapter 1, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

BHANU III. A devagandharva born to Kasyapa praja- 
pati of his wife Prtha. (Sloka 47, Chapter 65, Adi 
i'arva, M.B.) . 

BHANU IV. He is the son of an agni called Pancajanya. 
He is born of the spiritual essence of Angiras and 
Cyavana. This Bhanu is called Manu and Brhadbhanu. 
(Chapters 220 and 221, Vana Parva, M.B.'). 

BHANU V. A king of ancient Bharata. This king took 
a flying tour of Kuruksetra in Indra's aeroplane to 
witness the battle between Arjuna and Drona. (Sloka 
9, Chapter 56, Virata Parva, M.B.) . 

BHANU VI. A yadava. He learnt the art of archery 
from Pradyumna. Sahadeva married the daughter of 
this Bhanu called Bhanumati. (Vana Parva, 180, 27 
and Harivamsa 2.20.12). 

BHANUDATTA. A brother of Sakuni. In the Maha- 
bhfirata battle he fought against Bhlma and died. 
(Sloka 24, Chapter 157, Drona Parva, M.B.). 

BHANUDEVA. A warrior of Pancala state. Kama killed 
him in battle. (Sloka 15, Chapter 48. Kama Parva). 

BHANUKOPA. A demon. He fought against Subrah- 
manya. (Asura Khanda, Skanda Purana). 

BHANUMAN I. A king of the dynasty of Sri Rama. 
He was the father of a King called Sakradyumna. 
(Navama Skanda, Bhagavata). 

BHANUMAN II. A son born to Krsna of Satyabhama. 
(Dasama Skandha, Bhagvata). 

BHANUMAN III. AprinceofKalinga. He fought on 
the side of the Kauravas and was killed by Bhimasena. 
(Chapter 54, Bhisma Parva, M.B.) 

BHANUMATI I. The daughter of Bhanu, a leader of 
the Yadavas. When Sri Krsna went with his retinue of 
Yadavas to visit the holy palace called Pindaraka the 
Yadavas conducted a wine festival. During that festi- 
val a demon of the name Nikumbha carried away 
Bhanumati. This was because of a curse to Bhanumati 
from Durvasas whom Bhanumati did not respect once 
when they met at the garden of Raivata. Durvasas had 
after the curse consoled her by assuring her that she 
would be saved and married by Sahadeva, one of the 
Pandavas. True to this, Bhanumati was married to Saha- 
deva in the presence of Narada and Krsna. (Visnu 
Parva, Chapter 90) . 

BHANUMATI II. Daughter of Krtavirya. She was the 
wife of Ahamyati, a king of the Puru line of monarchs. 
They had a son named Sarvabhauma. 

BHANUMATI III. Daughter of Angiras. She was ex- 
traordinarily beautiful. (Sloka 3, Chapter 218, Vana 
Parva, M.B.) . 

BHANUSENA. A son of Kama. He was killed in the 
battle by Bhimasena. (Sloka 27, Chapter 48, Karna 
Parva, M.B.). 

BHARADVAJA I. Another name of Dlrghatamas.** 

** Dlrghatamas is also called Bharadvaja. But the Bharadvaja of puranic fame is not Dirghatamas. Dlrghatamas is the son whom 
Brhaspati illegitimately (tot of Mamata, his brother's wife. There was then another legitimate child in the womb of Mamata. Knowing this 
the devas told her 'Bharadvaja' meaning 'bear the brunt of two' and so the son of Brhaspati got the name of Bharadvaja also. The real 
name of this son was Dirghatamas or Vitatha. Dirghatamas is not the Bharadvaja who was the father of Drona. The famous Bharadvaja 
was the son of Atri. Dirghatamas or Vitatha was the adopted son of Bharata. son of Dusyanta. (Bhagavata and Kamparamayana. For 
details see under Bharata I and Dirghatamas. 




BHARADVAJA II. The sage Bharadvaja of Puranic 

1 ) General information. Ayodhya Kanda of Kampa 
Ramayana states that this sage was the son of Atn 
Maharsi. He lived for many thousands of years. He is 
connected with Valmiki and the story of Sri Rama. 
Bharadvaja was for many years a disciple of Valmiki. 
He was present with Valmiki when the hunter killed 
one of the couple of Kraunca. When Valmiki and 
Bharadvaja reached the shores of the river, Tamasa, 
that day Valmiki told Bharadvaja thus : "Look, Bhara- 
dvaja, what a clean ghat this is. The water is pure and 
clear. Place your water-jug here and give me my 
valkala. We will get down here in this sacred water". 
Then Valmiki taking the valkala from the disciple 
walked along the shore admiring the beauty of the 
forest trees and found on his way the historic Kraunca 
couple. (Sarga 2, Bala Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana). 

2) Bharadvaja and the study of Vedas. Bharadvaja gave 
himself untiringly to the study of the Vedas. He obtain- 
ed from Indra a boon to extend his term of life on 
earth to many thousands of years by different stages, 
each stage covering a span of a thousand years of life. 
All these years he devoted to an incessant study of the 
Vedas. Finding the term not sufficient for completing 
the study of the Vedas he appealed to Indra again for 
extension and Indra appearing in person took him before 
three mountains and giving him three handfuls of 
sand told him thus, "What you have studied about 
Vedas till this time is equivalent to the amount of 
sand I have now given and what is yet to be studied 
about the Vedas is as big as the three mountains before 
you". Any other mortal being would have been dis- 
heartened by this revelation made by Indra, but not 
Bharadvaja. Undaunted he continued his studies. (Bhaga- 

3) Bharadvaja in the role of a magician. The asrama of 
Bharadvaja was in Citrakuta and Sri Rama and 
Laksmana in the beginning of their exile went to his 
asrama accepting his blessings. Bharata on his return 
from Kekaya knew about the exile of his brothers and 
hoping to bring them back to Ayodhya went in search 
of them with a big retinue of soldiers and men. Keeping 
the retinue outside, Bharata went to the asrama of 
Bharadvaja. The latter decided to give Bharata and his 
people a grand reception and calling Visvakarma to his 
side asked him to arrange a royal banquet that night. 
Devas, Gandharvas, Apsarases, Astadikpalas and all 
such people were invited for the night. Renowned dancers 
from devaloka like Ghrtaci, Hema, VisvacI Misrakesi and 
Alambusa appeared for entertainment. Even Vanarajl 
took part in the dance. Dishes of food came to the 
guests of their own accord. The night came to an end 
wonderfully and at daybreak everything vanished and 
all were amazed at the magic of the sage. (Sarga 91, 
Ayodhya Kanda, Valmiki Ramayana). 

4) Drona's origin. Drona was the son born to Bhara- 
dvaja of the celestial woman, Ghrtaci. (see under 

5) How Bharadvaja died once but was born again. See under 

6 ) The name BLaradvdja. This is how the connotation of 
the word is explained. 

B hare 'su tan bhare sisyan 
Bhare devan bhare dvijfm 

Bhare ca bharyamavyajad 

Bharadvajo'smi sobhane 

(I protect even those who are not my sons, I protect 
my disciples, I protect devas and the brahmins. I 
protect my wife and all these I do with ease and so I 
am named Bharadvaja). (Bhiigavata) 

7) Other details. 

(1) Bharadvaja once gave refuge in his asrama to 
Manorama, daughter of the King of Kalihga and her 
son. (See under Manorama) . 

(2) The sixth mandala of Rgveda contains the songs 
of Bharadvaja. 

( 3) He was among the sages who once went to Dvaraka 
and cursed Samba. (See under Samba) . 

(4) Bharadvfija had a daughter Devavarnim whom 
Visravas married and got the son, Kubera. (see under 

(5) Once Bharadvaja was travelling through an unin- 
habited forest with his son when he became exhausted 
by hunger and he then begged of a sudra, Prthu, 
several cows. (Sloka 107, Chapter 1, Manusmrti) . 

(6) This sage took part in a birthday celebrations of 
Arjuna. (Sloka 57, Chapter 122, Adi Parva, M.B.). 

(7) Because of the blessing of Bharadvaja Bharata got 
a son named Bhumanyu. (Sloka 22, Chapter 94, Adi 
Parva, M.B.). 

(8) Bharadvaja taught the secret of the missile Agenya 
to Agnivesa. (Sloka 39, Chapter 129, Adi Parva, 

(9) He worshipped Brahma sitting in the council of 
Brahma. (Sloka 22, Chapter 11, Sabha Parva, M.B.) . 

(10) This sage came to the battlefield during the Maha- 
bharata battle and requested Drona to lay down his 
missile. (Sloka 35, Chapter 196, Drona Parva, M.B.) . 

(1 1) Once Bhrgu Maharsi asked him some questions on 
the creation of this universe and Bharadvaja gave him 
satisfactory answers. (Chapter 182, Santi Parva, 

(12) This sage performed the sacrifice Putrakamesti, 
and gave a son to Divodasa. (Chapter 30, Anusasana 
Parva, M.B.). 

BHARADVAJA III. The eldest son of the Agni, Samyu. 
(Sloka 5, Chapter 219, Vana Parva, M.B.) . 

BHARADVAJA IV. A renowned sage. Bharata, a King 
of the Puru line of kings, had no sons and as he was 
spending his days in sorrow Marutta gave Bharata this 
Bharadvaja as a son. Bharadvaja who was by birth a 
brahmin from then onwards became a Ksatriya. 
(Matsya Purana 49. 27-39 and Vayu Purana 99. 152- 

BHARADVAJA V. A maharsi born of the line of Arigi- 
ras. He was the father of Yavakrlta and a friend of 
Raibhya, son of VisVamitra. 

Once Raibhya created a Kritya and that Kritya killed 
Bharadvaja's son Yavakrlta. Unable to bear the loss of his 
son Bharadvaja was preparing to give up his own life 
by jumping into the fire when Arvavasu brought to life 
Yavakrita and gave him to the sage. Immensely pleas- 
ed at the regain of his son Bharadvaja ended his life 
on earth and went to heaven. (M.B., Vana Parva, 

BHARADVAJA VI. A brahmarsi who lived in the Purva- 
manvantara. He was living on the shore of Ganga 
doing rigorous penance. One day desirous of conduct- 
ing a special type of Yajna he went to bathe in the 


river along with other sages. There he saw the celes- 
tial beauty, Ghrtaci, standing in all splendour after her 
bath. Bharadvaja had seminal emission and from that 
was born a daughter, Srutavati, to him. (Chapter 47, 
Salya Parva, M.B.). 

BHARADVAJA VII. A great scholar well-versed in 
all the Sustras. He is the author of 'Dharmasiitra' and 
'Srautasiitra'. (The Visvavidyalaya of Bombay keeps 
a hand written copy of his workSrautasiitra written in 
I'andu script). 

BHARADVAJA I. A Maharsi. It was he who convinced 
Dyumatsena, father of Satyavan that he (Satyavan) 
would be endowed with long life. (Vana Parva, Chapter 
288, Verse 16). 

BHARADVAJA II. The collective name of a particular 
sect of preceptors mentioned in the Upanisads. The 
Brhadaranyaka Upanisad refers to this sect of preceptors 
as disciples of Bharadvaja, Piirasarya, Valaka, Kauika, 
Aitareya, Asurayana and Baijavapayana. 

BHARADVAJA III. A grammarian. According to the 
Rktantra, pratiSakhya of Samaveda, it was Brahma, 
who first composed the science of grammar. This 
science was taught by Brahma to others in the following 
order : Brahma to Brhaspati, he to Indra, Indra to 
Bharadvaja and he to his disciples. 
Panini has discussed the grammatical concepts of Bhara- 
dvaja. Rkpratisakhya and Taittiriya have quoted the 
opinions of this grammarian. 

BHARADVAJA(M). A place of habitation in ancient 
Bharata. (Sloka 68, Chapter 9, Bhlsma Parva, M.B.). 

BHARADVAjATlRTHA. One of the five sacred places 
(bathing ghats in sacred rivers). (See Varga). 

BHARADVAjI. A famous Indian river mentioned in 
the Puranas. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 9, Verse 29). 

BHARADVAjIPUTRA. A preceptor, who was a dis- 
ciple of Parasarlputra. In theBrhadaranyakopanisad he 
is referred to in many contexts as Vatslmandavlputra. 

One of the twentyseven constellations. 
Punya is assured if one gives as gift a cow to a brah- 
min on that day. (Sloka 35, Chapter 64, AnuSasana 
Parva, M.B.). 

BHARATA I. Son of Dusyanta born of Sakuntala. 
1 )Genealogj>. Descending in order from Visnu - Brahma- 
Atri-Candra-Budha-Pururavas-Ayus-Nahusa - Yayati - 
Puru-Janamejaya - Pracinva - Pravira-Namasyu - Vita- 
bhaya-Surtdu-Bahuvidha- Samyati - Rahovadi - Raud- 
2)Birth. Dusyanta was once hunting in the forests when 
he hit a fawn with his arrow. The fawn (led to the 
ASrama of Kanva Muni and the king followed it. On 
reaching the ASrama grounds he saw Sakuntala water- 
ins; the plants helped by her companions Anasuya and 
Priyamvada. Dusyanta and Sakuntala fell in love with 
each other at first sight. Kanva was absent from the 
Asrama and the/ married according to the Gandharva 
rites and Sakuntala became pregnant soon. The king 
gave her his signet ring as a sign of faith and left for 
his palace. When Dusyanta left her Sakuntala fell into 
a deep reverie and she never knew about the arrival of 
the arrogant sage, Durvasas to the asVama. Durvasas 
mistook her as disrespectful and cursed her saying that 
she would be forgotten by the man of whom she was 
thinking then. Sakuntala never knew about the curse 


Kanva Muni when he returned to the Airama andknew 
everything, sent Sakuntala to the palace of Dusyanta. 
But King Dusyanta never recognised her and when 
Sakuntala was returning deeply grieved Menaka her 
mother, took her and left her in theasramaof KaSyapa. 
There Sakuntala delivered a son. The boy grew brave 
and fearless and he could subdue even the wildest of 
animals around there. KaSyapa, therefore, named him 

Once when Dusyanta was returning home after visiting 
Indra he saw Sakuntala, recognised her, and took her 
and the boy to his palace. This was the boy who later 
on became known as Bharata. (Chapter 73, Adi Parva, 

3) Marriage and reign. Bharata was a partial incarna- 
tion of Mahavisnu. Even while he was young he became 
a ruler and conquering the world destroyed the wicked. 
Bharata had three wives. All the sons born to them 
were bad and so the mothers killed them all. Aggrieved 
over the loss of his sons he worshipped the devas to 
get a son for him. At that time the great preceptor 
Brhaspati forcibly married Mamata the wife of his 
brother. Mamata was pregnant then and when she 
conceived from Brhaspati also she bore two children. 
On delivery she threw the child of Brhaspati in the 
forests and went away with the other son. 
The Devas took care of the discarded child and named 
him Bharadvaja and gave the child to Bharata. Bharata 
gave the boy the name Vitatha (Dlrghatamas) . Bharata 
ruled over his land for twentyseven thousand years and 
the land was, therefore, called Bharata. (Sloka 96, 
Chapter 2, Adi Parva, M.B.) . 

After ruling the land ideally he left for the forests 
entrusting the land to his son, Vitatha. (Navama 
Skandha, Bhagavata) . 

Vitatha also was called Bharata and he had five sons: 
Suhotra, Suhota, Gaya, Garbha and Suketu. (Chapter 
278, AgniPurana). 
BHARATA II. Son of Dasaratha. 

1) Genealogy. Descending in order from Visnu-Brahma- 
Marici-KaSyapa-Vivasvan - Vaivasvatamanu - Iksvaku- 
Vikuksi-SaSida-Kakutstha-Anenas-Prthulasva -Prasena- 
jit - Yuvanasva - Mandhata - Purukutsa - Trasadasyu- 
Satyavrta-(Triahku)-HariScandra-Rohitasva - Harita- 
Cuncu-Sudeva-Bharuka - Bahuka - Sagara - Asamanjas- 
Amsuman-Bhaglratha-Srutanabha-Sindhudvlpa - Ayuta- 
yus-Rtuparna-Sarvakama-Sudas - Mitrasaha (Kalmasa- 
pada)-Asmaka-Malaka-Khatvanga (Dilipa, Dirgha- 

2) Birth. Dasaratha, King of Ayodhya, had three wives : 
Kausalya, Kaikeyi and Sumitra. Kausaly.i gave birth 
to Sri Rama, Kaikeyi to Bharata and Sumitra to 
Laksmana and Satrughna. Kaikeyi, mother of Bharata, 
was the sister of Yudhajit, Raja of Kekeya. Bharata 
was born on the day of Puya. (Sloka 14, Sarga 18, 
Valmiki Ramayana) 

DaSaratha remained in sorrow without children for a 
very long time and then he performed a Putrakamesti 
yaga (A sacrificial ceremony to get children) with 
the Maharsi Rsya'rnga as the officiating priest. From 
the sacred fire arose a divine figure carrying a pot of 
pudding and it was after taking that pudding that the 
wives of Da;aratha became pregnant. (Sarga 15, 
Balaklnda, Valmiki Ramayana) . 




3) Till the end of Sri Rama's forest life. The sons of 
Dasaratha married the daughters of Janaka, King of 
Mithila. Sri Rama married Sita, Bharata, Mandavi, 
Laksmana, tjrmila and Satrughna, Srutakirti. 
Dasaratha made arrangements to crown Rama as King 
and then leave for the forests and lead an ascetic life. 
At that time Bharata and Satrughna were in the 
country of Kekaya with their uncle, Yudhajit. When 
the day of coronation was drawing near Kaikeyi 
demanded of Dasaratha the execution of two boons 
which were once promised by Dasaratha to her long 
ago during a battle between the devas and asuras. One 
of them was to crown her son, Bharata, as king and the 
other to send Rama to the forests for a period of 
fourteen years. Dasaratha was shocked to hear that. 
But, without any hesitation, Rama and Laksmana 
accompanied by Sita went to the forests and Dasaratha 
overcome with immense grief caused by this unplea- 
sant turn of events fell down dead. Messengers were 
sent then to Kekaya to bring Bharata and after travel- 
ling for three days Bharata and Satrughna reached 
Ayodhya. Though they were not informed of the death 
of their father they were worried all the way because 
of the several bad omens which they saw. On entering 
Ayodhya they were shocked to find all the roads deso- 
late and arriving at the palace they found it silent and 
gloomy. Kaikeyi then told him all that had happened 
and when Bharata knew that his mother was at the 
root of all this calamity his rage knew no bounds. 
Forgetting himself he drew from the sheath the glitter- 
ing sword and stood before his mother with the drawn 
sword wavering to strike or not to strike and mused to 
himself "No, Not a woman and not one's own mother, 
No, it should not be done". Immediately after this was 
decided, he swung the sword straight to his throat. 
But adroitly Satrughna intervened and swept away the 
sword before it fell at its aim. This strong move of 
Satrughna brought Bharata to his senses and he looked 
at his mother so fiendishly that at his stare his mother 
turned pale like a flower brought near a burning flame. 
Bharata immediately changed into the dress of a 
Sannyasi and started to go to the forests. Satrughna 
followed his brother. Vasistha also started. The news 
spread like wildfire and people began to crowd at the 
palace eager to follow the brothers. Very soon a huge 
procession was seen moving towards the forests. Vasistha 
and ArundhatI in a chariot in the front, Kausalya and 
Sumitra in another next to it and Bharata and Satru- 
ghna closely following the chariots, walking. People 
joined the procession from behind. The great crowd 
of people reached the banks of the river Gariga. Guha 
coming to know of the great exile of people from 
Ayodhya through spies went and saw Bharata, at first 
in disguise, and later as himself made his acquaintance. 
He then took Bharata and Satrughna across the river 
to the presence of Sri Rama at Citrakuta. 
When they reached Citrakuta only Bharata-Satrughna, 
Vasistha and ArundhatI, Kausalya and Sumitra entered 
the agrarna of Sri Rama, all the others remaining out- 
side. When Rama and Laksmana were told about the 
death of their father they were filled with grief. All the 
sons, then, Vasistha officiating, performed the obsequies 
of their father. Rama and Bharata then discussed the 
future. Sri Rama persisted in his vow and said he 
would return to his country only after fourteen years 

and insisted that Bharata should rule the country 
during that period. Bharata accepted the arrangement 
saying that if his brother did not come back after four- 
teen years he would give up his life by jumping into 
the fire. Sii Rama then gave his sandals to Bharata who 
accepting the same with due respect returned home 
followed by others. On reaching Ayodhya Bharata did 
not go to the royal palace which he considered as empty 
because of the absence of his brother, Rama and 
abhorrent because of the presence of his mother, Kaikeyi. 
Instead, he went to a nearby village called Nandi and 
installing the sandals there lived there and ruled the 

4) Return of Sri Rama. Sri Rama when he came back 
to Ayodhya after fourteen years was crowned King. 
Bharata got two sons of his wife Mandavi, Subahu and 
Surasena. While they were thus living happily in 
Ayodhya, message was sent through an ascetic by 
Yudhajit from Kekaya that some gandharvas were 
creating trouble in that country. It was the state of 
Sindhu in Kekaya which was subjected to this 
molestation and on the advice of Rama Bharata went 
and subdued the trouble, killing the gandharvas. He 
then created two small states on either side of Sindhu 
and made his two sons the Kings of those states. 
When Sri Rama gave up his life in Sarayu river and 
rose to heaven as Visnu Bharata and Satrughna also 
gave up their lives and took the forms of the conch 
and the wheel which adorn the hands of Visnu. 
(Uttara Ramayana) . 
BHARATA III. A son of Rsabha. 

1 ) Genealogy and birth. Descending in order from Visnu- 
Brahma - Svayambhuvamanu - Priyavrata - Agnldhra- 

Emperor Priyavrata partitioned his empire to his eight 
children. Agnidhra got Jambudvipa. Agnldhra had 
nine sons : Nabhi, Kimpurusa, Harivarsa, Ilavrta, 
Ramya, Hiranvan, Kuru Bhadraiva and Ketumala. On 
the death of the father Jambudvipa was divided into 
nine states and Nabhi got the land called Hima. Nabhi 
married Merudevi and got a son, Rsabha. Rsabha had 
a hundred sons and Bharata was the eldest. (Chapter 1, 
ArhSam 2, Visnu Purana) . 

2) Marriage, administration and entry into ASrama life. 
Bharata took over the administration of the kingdom 
at the death of his father, Rsabha. He married Panca- 
jani daughter of ViSvarupa. They had five sons, Sumati, 
Rastrabhrt, Sudarsana, Avarana andDhumraketu. The 
Paiicama Skandha of Bhagavata contains a statement 
to the effect that India got the name Bharata from 
this king. (It is worthwhile remembering at this 
juncture a previous statement that the name Bharata 
was obtained from Bharata, son of Dusyanta). Bharata 
like his forefather was very erudite and affectionate 
and always respected his duties. He always meditated 
on Brahma and in his heart there shone the Parama- 
purusa in the figure of Vasudeva adorned with Srivatsa, 
Kaustubha, Vanamala, Sarhkha, Cakra, Gada and 
Padma. He ruled the country for a crore of years and 
after that dividing the country among his sons went to 
the avrama of Pulaha Maharsi to spend the rest of his 
life there. On the rocks lying in the river flowing in 
front of the Asrama were the marks of Cakra on one 
side and Nabhi on the other and the river therefore 
came to be known as Cakranabhi. Bathing in this river 


and doing puja Bharata lived there oblivious of the 
world outside. (Pancama Skandha, Bhagavata). 

3) Bharata and the deer. Bharata led a purely ascetic 
life performing everyday the rites laid down by 
scriptures and muttering the mystic formula of Brahma- 
ksara. One day a thirsty pregnant deer went to drink 
water in a nearby pond. As it was drinking it heard 
the loud roar of a lion nearby. Frightened the poor 
animal without even waiting to quench its thirst ran 
into the forest and on its way delivered a child and the 
deer-babe fell into the river. The deer exhausted and 
tormented by fear ran into a cave and fell down dead. 
Bharata happened to see the new-born deer floating 
on the river and took it to his asrama. From then on- 
wards Bharata's mind was diverted from the spiritual 
to the mundane effort of taking care of the young deer. 
The deer followed him wherever he went and if it did 
not turn up in time in the evening after grazing 
Bharata went about in search of it weeping. Years went 
by and Bharata became old and died with the name of 
the deer on his lips. (Pancama Skandha, Bhagavata). 

4) Rebirths of Bharata. Because he died with the 
thought of the deer in his mind he was reborn as a 
deer. The deer was aware of his previous birth and 
regretted that he spent the life of a man for the sake 
of a deer. The deer, therefore, left the house of his 
mother in the mountain of Kalanjara and went to the 
airama of Pulaha. The pious animal daily bathed in 
the river and died there on the bank of that river. So 
in its next life the deer was born as the son of a 
brahmin in the line of Arigiras. That brahmin had two 
wives and got nine sons of his first wife and one of the 
second. The son born to the second wife was none other 
than Bharata. In due course the brahmin died and his 
second wife jumped into the funeral pyre and ended her 
life. Thrown an orphan Bharata became a puppet in 
the hands of his brothers. Bharata was asked to look 
after the cattle and fields of his brothers for his living. 
With great forbearance Bharata did all he was told. 
One day Bharata was keeping watch over the fields of 
his brothers. It was midnight. In the neighbourhood 
the Candalas were making merry over the birth of a 
child to one of the women. Some of them were bringing a 
man bound by ropes to be given as 'Narabali' to the 
goddess Kali. (Narabali is the offering of a human 
being with his head cut off to propitiate a deity). On 
the way the man escaped and the disappointed 
Candalas were roaming about in search of a substitute 
when they came across Bharata keeping watch over 
the fields. Immediately he was bound by ropes and 
taken before the idol of Kali. The effulgence of the 
brahmin astounded Kali and getting angry for bringing 
such a pious brahmin for sacrifice she devoured the 
Candalas and allowed the brahmin to go free. 
Escaping from there Bharata reached a village walking 
all the way. That village was being ruled over by a 
king called Rahiigana and that king was going to see 
Bhagavan Kapila Maharsi along the banks of the river 
Iksumati in a palanquin. The palanquin had not enough 


bearers and so the brahmin was asked to join the 
team of bearers. As they were moving the palanquin 
shook because of the wrong steps kept by Bharata. The 
king reprimanded Bharata and Bharata then gave the 
king fitting replies based on the ethics of Vedanta. The 
erudition of Bharata greatly impressed the king and he 
stepped down from the palanquin and bowed to 

Bharata went from there to the forests singing devo- 
tional songs in praise of Visnu and at last attained 
salvation. (Pancama Skandha, Bhagavata). 

BHARATA IV. A sage and the famous author of Natya- 
sastra. He was a critic who lived around the year 400 
B.C. His book on Natyasastra (Histrionics) is world 
famous. Kalidasa in the second act of his drama, 
Vikramorvaslya states that this Bharata used to coach 
the devas in the art of acting. NatyaSastra is a book 
comprising thirtyseven chapters dealing with the art of 
dance and music. He has written in detail about the 
four Alamkaras, Upama, DTpaka, Rupaka and Yamaka 
and also about the ten requisites of a Kavya. He has 
not forgotten to write about the defects and demerits 
of Kavya also. Commentaries on Nafyasastra have 
been written by lions in the profession : Mitragupta, 
Harsavardhana, Saiikuka, Udbhata, Bhattanayaka and 
Abhinav agupta. Of these 'Abhinavabharat!' the com- 
mentary written by Abhinavagupta is the only one 
freely available now. 

BHARATA V. The Mahabharata speaks about a few 
other Bharatas who were sons of Agni. Samyu is a son 
of Agni known as Bharata. This Bharata has got 
another name, Urjja. (Sloka 6, Chapter 219, Vana 
Parva, M.B.) . There is>an Agni of name Bharata with 
a son named Bharata. When this Agni is propitiated 
one gets healthy and strong and so this Agni is called 
Pustiman also. (Sloka 7, Chapter 219, Vana Parva, 
M.B.). There is another Bharata son of an Agni 
called Adbhuta. It is this Agni that burns dead bodies. 
As this Agni lives permanently in Agnistoma Yajnas; it 
gets the name of Niyata also. (Sloka 6, Chapter 222, 
Vana Parva, M.B.) . 

BHARATA (MAHABHARATA) . An epic written by 

1) General information. The Mahabharata is an epic. 
Bharata is acclaimed as the first emperor of Bharata. 
The theme of this great epic is the fight between the 
two lines of princes belonging to the dynasty of Bharata. 
That is why the book is called Mahabharata. 
The great size of the volume and the greatness of 
the wisdom contained therein have contributed much 
to its getting the name, Mahabharata. Once the 
devas put the Mahabharata in one pan of a balance 
and the Vedas in the other pan. Then the devas 
were convinced that the Mahabharata weighed more 
than all the Vedas put together. (Slokas 269-271, 
Chapter 1, Adi Parva, M.B. ).* This book contains 
over a lakh of verses. There is no subject on earth 
which is not dealt with in the Mahabharata. None of 

* Pura kila suraih sarvaih saroetya tulaya dhrtam 
Caturbhyah sarahasyebhyo Vcdebhyo hyadhikam yada 
Tada prabhiti loke'smin mahabharatamucyate 
Mahatve ca gurutve ca dhriyamanaih yaso'dhikam 
Mahatvad bharavatvac ca Mahabharatamucyate. 




the world's epics is so big as Mahabharata. In size the 
Mahabharata is double that of Homer's Iliad and 
Odyssey put together. The following poem about it is 
worth mentioning now : 

Yatha samudro bhagavan 

Yatha ca himavan girih / 
Khyatavubhau ratnanidhi 

Tatha bharatamucyate // 

Mahabharata is not a mere epic. It is a whole literature 
in itself containing a philosophy which has been an 
unfailing and perennial source of spiritual strength to 
the people of India. Above all it has for its core the 
Gita which is perhaps the noblest of scriptures. 
The Mahabharata comprises eighteen books, each book 
being called a Parva. There are 2109 chapters in it, the 
chapters differing in size. Besides, there is an annexe 
called Harivamsa which deals with the life and history 
of Sri Krsna. 

2) Contents. The contents of each Parva are succinctly 
given below: The Parvas are so named as to give a 
hint of their central theme. 

(1) Adi Parva. (Adi= beginning) . Pandu and Dhrta- 
rastra, king of the Candra dynasty, are brothers. Bhisma 
brought them up. Dhrtarastra was born blind and he 
got a hundred children of his wife Gandharl. They 
were called the Kauravas. Pandu had two wives KuntI 
and Madri and got of them five sons called the 
Pandavas headed by the eldest Yudhisthira. 

(2) Sabha Parva (Sabha = court) . The Pandavas and 
Kauravas lived together in the court at Hastinapura. 
There, the Kauravas entered into a game of dice with 
Yudhisthira and through the deceitful tactics engineer- 
ed by the keen-witted Sakuni, Yudhisthira was defeated 
and he lost everything he possessed. The Pandavas 

were then compelled to go into exile to the forests for 
twelve years and spend another year after that incog- 
nito. If they were found out during that period of 
incognito they were to go into exile for another term 
of twelve years. The Pandavas accompanied by Pancall 
left for the forests. 

(3) Vana Parva (Vana= forest). This is one of the 
longest of Parvas and describes the life of the Pandavas 
in the forest Kamyaka. The well known stories 'Nala 
Carita' and 'Kiratarjuniya' are told in this Parva'. 

(4) Virata Parva. (Virata = name of a King) . The Pandav- 
as after completing their term of exile in the forests spent 
the year of their life in incognito at the court of King 
Virata. Many wonderful events took place during their 
stay there and this Parva deals in detail about 

(5) B hi f ma Parva (Bhisma = The first Generalissimo of 
the Kauravas). The great Mahabharata war was fought 
in the vast expanse of Kuruksetra lying to the north- 
west of Delhi. Bhisma was the first generalissimo of the 
Kauravas and Dhrstadyumna of the Pandavas. Vyasa 
describes the events of the battle classifying it accord- 
ing to the generalissimos of the Kaurava army giving 
the four generalissimos a Parva each. Bhisma fought 
for ten days and was struck down on the tenth day by 
an arrow from Arjuna. 

(6) Drona Parva ( Drona = The second Generalissimo). 
When Bhisma fell Drona took charge as the supreme 
commander. This Parva deals with the fight under his 
command. Drona was killed in the end by 

(7) Kama Parva. (Karna=The third generalissimo). 
This Parva deals with the war under the command of 
Kama. Kama fell in the end at the hands of Arjuna. 

(8) Salya Parva. (Salya = The fourth and last of the 
Generalissimos). When Kama fell Salya took over 
charge of the Kaurava army. As the war was coming to 
an end most of the big warriors of the Kaurava army 
were killed. In the end Bhlma and Duryodhana met 
in a grim fight with maces in which Duryodhana was 
killed. This Parva deals with the final stage of the 

(10) Sauptika Parva. (Sauptika=pertaining to sleep). 
This Parva tells us the tragic story of how Kfpacarya, 
Krtavarma and Asvatthama. who were the only three 
left with Duryodhana after the great battle went into 
the camp of the Pandavas at night and killed all the 
brave warriors of the Pandava army, excepting the 
Pandavas, who were sleeping in their camp unaware of 
the foul play lying ahead. 

(11) Stri Parva. (Stri =woman) . This Parva deals with 
the great lamentation in the battlefield, after the war, 
of Gandharl and other women. 

(12) Sdnti Parva. Yudhisthira was crowned king and 
even at that time Bhisma was lying on his bed of arrows 
awaiting death. Before taking up his duties of the state 
Yudhisthira went to where the grandsire lay dying and 
took his blessing and instruction in dharma. This 
instruction of Bhlsmacarya to King Yudhisthira of the 
three dharmas, Rajadharma, Apaddharma and Moksa- 
dharma is the famous fSanti Parva. 

(13) AnuSasana Parva. (AnuSasana = Instruction). 
Bhisma still on his death-bed continues his instructions 
on several topics, like duty, freedom and fasting, giving 
entertaining stories to illustrate the essence of his teach- 
ing. This Parva is devoted to this. 

(14) ASvamedhika Parva. (Asvamedha = yaga conduct- 
ed by emperors) . This Parva deals with the yaga 
conducted by Yudhisthira when he became the empe- 
ror of Bharata. 

(15) Aframavasika Parva. (A$ramavasa = life in a her- 
mitage) . Dhrtarastra, the blind and his wife Gandharl 
accompanied by KuntI left for the forests and lived 
there for two years in a hermitage. One day the forest 
caught fire and the three without trying to escape sat 
on the ground facing eastwards in yoga posture and 
calmly gave up themselves to the flames. This is dealt 
with in this Parva. 

(16) Mausala Parva. (Mausala = Mace). This Parva 
gives the story of how the Yadavas fought against each 
other with maces and were destroyed and how 
Dvaraka sank down into the ocean. It describes the 
death of Sri Krsna and Balarama also. 

(17) Mahaprasthanika Parva. (Mahaprasthana=Death) . 
Dharmaputra entrusts his kingdom to his successor and 
alongwith his four brothers and wife Panca.ll sets out 
on a long journey to Mahameru never to return. This 
journey to death is detailed in this Parva. 

( 1 8) Svargarohana Parva. (Svarga = Heaven) . This Parva 
describes the entry of the Pandavas and their relatives 
into Svarga, heaven. 

3) Mode of Narration. Most of the verses in the 
Mahabharata are in the Anustup metre. At certain 
places other metres also have been used. There are 
prose pieces also in it. There are twenty notable pieces, 
three in Adi Parva, seven in Vana Parva, seven in Santi 




Parva and three in AnuSasana Parva. All the pieces are 
statements by realised souls. The style of the poetry is 
simple and the method of presentation lively. At times 
the imagination of the poet extends up to the horizon. 
Though there is a flow of spiritualism throughout the 
matter is purely mundane. 

4) Authorship. Bhagavan Vyasa is believed to be the 
author of Mahabharata. He was a contemporary of the 
Pandavas and the Kauravas. Many of the events of the 
Mahabharata were personally witnessed by Vyasa. He 
took three years to write this book. The following 
llokas will support the above: 

Kururaja kulasthanam 

Drsjam vrttarh ca yatsthitam / 
Tatsarvarh bhagavan Vyaso 

Varnayamasa Bharate. // 

(Padma purana) 

Tribhirvarsaih sadotthayi 

Krsn.advaipa.yano munih / 

Krtavanidamuttamam. // 

(Sloka 55, Chapter 62, Adi Parva) . 
The Varaha Purana states that Vyasa composed the 
Mahabharata at a period when the end of Dvapara 
yuga merged with the dawn of the Kaliyuga. The 
Bhagavata states that Sri Krsna passed away on the 
first day of Kaliyuga. The Bhagavata is devoted to 
admire and praise the life of Sri Krsna. This book also 
is written by Vyasa. This s"loka found in the first Chap- 
ter of Adi Parva clears the doubt: 

Vasudevasya mahatmyarh 

Pandavanarh ca satyatam / 
Durvrttarh Dharttarastranam 

Uktavan Bhagavanrsih. // 

The original name of the Bharata which Vyasa compos- 
ed was 'Jaya'. In the first Chapter of Adi Parva is this 
sloka to support this statement: 

Narayanarh namaskrtya 

Naram caiva narottamam/ 
Devirh Sarasvatim caiva 

Tato Jayamudirayet// 

After the death of the Pandavas and the Kauravas the 
disciples of Vyasa, Sumantu, Jaimini, Paila, Suka and 
VaiSampayana gave this book great publicity. They 
wrote books based on this story of Bharata of which 
only the 'Bharata' of Vaisampayana and the ASva- 
medha Parva of Jaimini are now available. 

Vyasa's Bharata was first expounded by Vaisampayana 
at the Sarpa-satra of Janamejaya. At the request of 
Janamejaya, VaiSampayana added some more facts to 
the original work known then as 'Jaya'. Jaya with the 

I (a) Jayo nametihaso'yam 

Srotavyo vijigisuna (Sloka 22, Chapter 62, Adi Parva). 
(b) CaturvimSati sahasrim 

Gakre bharatasarhhitam 
Upakhyanairvina tavad 

Bharatam procyate budhaih 
(Sloka 78, Chapter i, Adi ParvaJ. 
(3) Refer to the Sloka given in para i. 

accretions came to be known as Bharatasamhita. Suta 
who narrated this story to Saunaka and others at the 
forest of Naimisa added some more matter to the 
Bharatasamhita and made it larger. The present 
Mahabharata is this expanded edition. 
The following facts prove that the Mahabharata has 
thus passed through three stages of evolution: 

1 ) This book is known by three names : Jaya, Bharata- 
samhita and Mahabharata. 1 

2) There is a reference to the three parts of the book 
in Sloka 66, Chapter 1 of Adi Parva. 2 

3) There are three different opinions regarding the 
total number of Slokas in the Mahabharata. According 
to UgraSravas there are 8800 verses, according to Vyasa 
24000 verses and according to another statement a 
lakh of verses. 3 

4) The narration appears to be of three different kinds, 
descriptive, philosophical and oratorical, indicative of 
three different authorships. 

5) Suta and VaiSampayana have made accretions to 
the original work 'Jaya' of Vyasa. 

Viewed with these facts we are led to believe that 
Vyasa has composed only the very essence of Maha- 
bharata comprising 8800 slokas and that work was 
known as 'Jaya' as referred to in the first invocatory 
verse of the epic. Vaisampayana added a few verses of 
his own and brought the number to 24,000 and gave the 
book the name of 'Bharatasamhita'. It was Suta who 
made many more additions and made the book so big 
as to fetch it the name of 'Maha.bha.rata'. The epic 
which is now current among us contains a lakh of 
verses and it took perhaps centuries to get this transfor- 
mation of the book from 'Jaya' to 'Mahabharata'. 

6) Period of publication. The Kali Varsa starts from 
3102 B.C. The great Mahabharata war was fought at 
a period when the end of Dvapara yuga merged into 
the dawn of Kali yuga as could be gathered from the 
following verse from the epic: 

Antare caiva samprapte 

Kalidvaparayorabhut / 
Samantapancake yuddham 

Kurupandavasenayoh. // 

(Sloka 13, Chapter 2, Adi Parva) . 

So it can be deduced that the great war was fought 
round about 3102 B.C. Dhrtaraslra lived for eighteen 
years after the great battle and the Pandavas ruled the 
country for 36 years. (Stri Parva, M.B.). It was when 
Sri Krsna died that the Pandavas ended their rule 
and commenced the Mahaprasthana. So it can be sur- 
mised that Sri Krsna lived for 36 years after the war. 

2 Manvadi Bharatam kecid 

Astikadi tathapare 
Tathopari caradanye 

Viprah samyagadhiyire. 

3 Idam Satasahasrarh tu lokanam pupyakarmanam 
Upakhyanaih saha jneyamadyarb bharatainuttamam 
Caturvimsati sahasrim cakre bharatasarhhitam 
Upakhyanairvina tavad bharatarh procyate budhaih 
Astau slokasahasrani Astau slokasatani ca 

Ahaih vedmi Suko vetti Sanjayo vetti va na va. 

(Adi Parva, Chapter i). 




Sri Ki'sna died on the first day of Kali yuga, 3102 B.C. 
Therefore it is clear the Mahabharata battle was fought 
in 3138 B.C. There are indications in other puranas 
to support this theory. There was that rare phenomenon 
of a Saptagraha yoga (Combination in astronomical 
position of seven planets) while King Pariksit, son of 
Arjuna, was ruling the country. 1 This happened in a 
month of Magha (January) and a probe into the dates 
of such previous occurrences revealed that a similar 
one had happened in the month of Magha in the years 
3177 and 477 B.C. (The next one is to happen in 2223 
A.D.). This phenomenon repeats itself in every hundred 
years and so it is to be believed that one of the kind 
happened in 3077 B.C. precisely during the period of 
Pariksit. It is therefore confirmatory to the statement 
that the great war occurred in 3138 B.C. 

The Pandavas ruled the country for 36 years after the 
war and Vyasa wrote this divine epic after the death 
of the Pandavas. Vyasa took three years to complete 
his work. Therefore it can be well concluded that 
Vyasa wrote the epic in 3100 B.C. The Pandavas 
commenced their Mahaprasthana after entrusting the 
administration of the state into the hands of Pariksit. 
This must have happened in 3102 B.C. Pariksit ruled 
the country for 60 years and so his son Janamejaya 
became King in 3Q42 B.C. It was after two years of 
his becoming King that he conducted the Sarpasatra 
and it was at this Sarpasatra that Vaisampayana first 
expounded 'Jaya' (Mahabharata) to the sages assembl- 
ed there. 

This fixing of the date of Mahabharata is based on the 
conclusions arrived at by the pandits of Bharata, but 
foreign chronologists differ from us. They argue that 
it was in the 10th century B.C. that the Mahabharata 
battle took place on the strength of the following: 

The theme of the Mahabharata is a fight between 
Kurus and Pancalas. After the war the two join and 
there is a statement in the Yajurveda of a people 
formed by the merger of the two. Therefore the great 
war should have happened in the 10th century B.C. It 
was a period of hero-worship and songs on the heroic 
deeds of the Kurus and Pandavas were sung and 
handed over from one generation to the other and 
gradually those songs took shape in the form of the 

There is another school of thought. In the Maha- 
bharata, Brahma is given great prominence. But in 
Vedic times Brahma was not counted at all. During 
the golden period of the Buddhists Brahma had a cons- 
picuous hold on Hinduism. Therefore it should be 
deduced that the Mahabharata was written during the 
6th century B.C. Then there were about 8,000 verses 
in the Mahabharata. 

Towards the second stage of Mahabharata the epic 
grew in size bringing into its fold about 24,000 Slokas. 
It was at this stage that the Mahabharata got a vaisna- 
vite colour and Sri Krsna was adored as an incarnation 
of Visnu. Megasthenes who visited India in 300 B.C. 
records that the majority of Hindus were vaisnavites 
at that period. There are references in certain parts 

of the Mahabharata to Greeks and Buddhists. There- 
fore a set of foreign chronologists conclude that those 
portions of the Mahabharata could have been written 
only after Buddha and after the attack on Bharata by 
the Greeks i.e. by 300 B.C. 

The third stage of the Mahabharata is its present form 
and it was at this stage that it included new philosophy 
in it. The Dharmasariihita of Manusmrti became popular 
in the fifth century A.D. and therefore the third stage 
of the Mahabharata must have started before that, in 
the 3rd century A.D. 

BHARATA II. (Bharatavarsa. India). 

The puranas describe the Earth to be constituted of 
seven continents : Jambudvlpa, Plaksadvipa, Salmali- 
dvlpa, Kusadvipa, Krauftcadvipa, Sakadvlpa and 
Puskaradvipa. Of these India is Jambudvlpa. 
The Bharatavarsa was constituted of nine islands at 
that time in the following positions : In the centre 
was Ilavrta and to the east was Bhadravarsa. To the 
south-east was Hiranyaka and to the south was Bharata. 
To the southwest was Hari and to the west was Ketu- 
mala. To the north-west was cambaka and to the north 
was Kuruvarsa. Beautiful Kirhpurusa varsa stood to the 
north-east of Ilavrta. There was neither the passage of 
time nor the fear of ageing or death in any of these 
continents excepting Bharatavarsa. 
This Bharatavarsa itself is a group of nine islands 
each separated from the other by oceans and thus made 
not easily accessible between each other. Indradvipa, 
Ka^eruman, Tamraparna, Gabhastiman, Nagadvipa, 
Kataha, Simhala and Varuna are the eight others and the 
ninth is this island of Bharatavarsa. This island is called 
Kumara also. On the eastern boundary of this island live 
Kiratas, on the western side, Yavanas, on the southern 
boundary Andhras and on the north Turuskas. In the 
Centre live the Brahmins, Ksatriyas, Vaisyas and Sudras. 
The eight sacred mountains of this place are Mahendra, 
Malaya, Sahya, Suktiman, Rksaparvata, Vindhya and 
Pariyatra. There are several other mountains also in 
Madhyapradesa. They are: Kolahala, Vaibhraja, Man- 
dara, Durddhara, Vatadhuma, Vaidyuta, Mainaka, 
Sarasa, Tungaprastha, Nagagiri, Govardhana, Ujjayan- 
ta, Puspagiri, Arbuda, Raivataka, Rsyamuka, Gomanta, 
Citrakufa, Krtasmara, Sriparvata and Konkana. This 
place is inhabited by Aryas and Mlecchas. The rivers 
which they use for drinking water are the following: 
SarasvatI, Pancarupa, Kalindl, Hiranvatt, Satadru, 
Candrika, Nila, Vitasta, IravatI, Kuhu, Madhura,, Usira, Dhataki, Rasa, GomatI, Dhutapapa, 
Bahuda, Drsadvati, Nisvara, Gandaki, Citra, Kausiki, 
Vadhusara, Sarayu and Lohitya. All these rivers origi- 
nate from the base of Himavan. Those originating 
from Pariyatra are: Vedasmrti, Vedasvani, Vrtraghni, 
Sindhu, Parnas"a, Nandim, PavanI, Mahl, Sara, Carm- 
manvatt, Lupi, Vidila, VenumatI, Citra and Oghavatl. 
Those flowing down from the Rksaparvata are: Sona 
alias Mahanada, Narmada, Surasa, Kriya, Mandakini, 
Das'arna, Citrakuta, Devika, Citrotpala, Tamasa, Kara- 
toya, Pisacika, Pippalasreni, Vipasa, Vaiijjulavati, 
Satsantaja, Suktimati, Cakrini, Tridiva, Vasu, Valgu- 
vahinl. From the base of Vindhya flow down the follow- 

i. (a) Saptarsayo maghayuktah kale pariksite Satam (Matsva puraija 271.4.6). 

(b) Te tu pariksite kale maghasvasan dvijottama (Visnu purana 4, 24, 106). 




ing rivers: Siva, Payosm, Nirvindhya, Tapi, Vena, Nisa- 
dhavati, VaitaranI, Sinibahu, Kumudvati, Toya, Reva, 
Mahagaurl, Durggya and Antas's'iva. Those originating 
from the base of Sahya are the following great rivers : 
Godavari, Bhimarathi, Krsna, Venya, Saridvati, Visa- 
madri, Suprayoga, Vahya, Kaveri, Dugdhoda, Nalini, 
Varisena, and Kalasvana. Those arising from Suktiman 
are the following: Krtamala, Tamravarru, Vanjjula, 
Utpalavati, Sum and Sudama. All these rivers are very 
sacred and are considered to be absolvers of sins, 
mothers of the universe and wives of oceans. There are 
bad rivers also besides these. 

The Madhyapradesa comprises the following states: 
Matsya, KuSudra, Kundala, Pancala, Kosala, Vrka, 
Saka, Barbara, Kaurava, Kaliriga, Vahga, Ariga and 
Marmaka. The states lying to the north are the follow- 
ing: Abhira, Sathyadhanaka, Bahlika, Vatadhana, 
Abhlra, Kalatoyada, Aparanta, Sudra, Pahlava, Khe- 
taka, Gandhara, Yavana, Sindhu, Sauvira, Bhadraka, 
Satadrava, Lalittha, Paravata, Musika, Mathara, Uruka- 
dhara, Kekaya, Darhsana, Kamboja, Darada, Ahga, 
Lokika, Vena, Tusara, Bahya, Todara, Atreya, Bhara- 
dvaja, Prasthala, Daseraka, Lambaka, Tavakarama, 
Cudika, Tarhgana, Alasa, Alibhadra, Kirata, Tamasa, 
Hamsamarga, Supars'va, Ganaka, Kuluta, Kurhika, 
Curna, LFrnapada, Kukkuta, Mandavya and Panavlya! 
Those lying to the east are the following : 
Ahga, Variga, Madgurava, Antarggiri, Bahirggiri, Pra- 
varhga, Vamgeya, Mamsada, Baladantika, Brahmottara, 
Pravijaya, Bhargava, Arigeya, Marsaka, Pragjyotisa, 
Vrsaddhra, Videha, Malla, Tamraliptaka, Magadha 
and Ananda. The states lying to the south are the 
following: Pundra, Kerala, Cola, Kulya, Januka, Musi- 
kada, Kumarada, Mahasaka, Maharastra, Mahisika, 
Kaliriga, Adira, Vaisikya, Aranya, Sabara, Pulinda' 
Vindhyas'aileya, Vidarbha, Dandaka, Paurika, Sarika| 
Asmaka, Bhogavardhana, Naimika, Kuntala, Andhra' 
Udbhida and Nalakaraka. The western states are: 
Surpparaka, Varidhana, Durga, Galikafa, Pullya, Sunila, 
Tamasa, Tapasa, Karaskara, Bhumi, Nasikanta, Sunarm- 
mada, Darukaccha, Sumaheya, Sarasvata, Vatsiya, 
Surastra, Avantya and Arbuda. The follwoing states lie 
adjacent to Vindhya: Karusa, Ekalavya, Mekala, Utkala, 
Uttamarna, Das'arna, Gopta, Kikarava, Tosala, Kosala, 
Traipura, Khellisa, Turaga, Turhbara, Vahela, Nisadha' 
Anupa, Tundikera, Vltihotra and Avanti. 
There are a few more states which lie attached to moun- 
tains: Nirahara, Harhsamarga, Kupatha, Tariigana, 
Khaia, Katha, Pravarana, Crna, Aplasta, Suhuhuka, 
Trigartta, Kirata, Tomara, Sasikha and Adrika. (Chap- 
ter 13, Vamana Purana). 
(See the map of Pauranika Bharata). 

BHARATASA\IHITA. Another title of the Mahabharata. 
(See Bharata I). 

BHARATl. A famous river mentioned in the Puranas. 
It is stated in Verse 25, Chapter 222 of the Vana Parva 
that Agni (fire) originated in this river. 

BHARATl. Daughter of the Agni called Bharata 
(Sloka9, Chapter 219, Vana Parva, M.B.) . 

BHARAVI. A Sanskrit poet who flourished in the 6th 

century A.D. He is the author of the mahakavya called 

Kiratarjumya. Raghuvariisa, Kumarasambhava, Kirat- 

arjunlya, Sisupalavadha and Naisadha are the five 

i. Yenayoji na vesma sthiram arthavidhau vivekina jinavesma/ 

Mahakavyas in Sanskrit with established reputation. 
In the Ehole records of A.D. 634 Bharavi is held up 
in praise along with Kfilidiisa. 1 The theme of Kiratar- 
juniyais Siva, in the guise of a hunter, attacking Arjuna 
immersed in penance. Bharavi's literary style is simple 
and sweet. In the use of similes he is second only to 
Kalidiisa. Among his books only Kiratarjunlya has been 
found out yet. 

BHARGA I. Grandson of Divodasa, a King of the Paru 
line. Divodasa got a son named Pratardana. Bharga 
and Vatsa were the sons of Pratardana. (Chapter 278, 
Agni Purana). 

BHARGA II. A synonym of Siva. 

BHARGA(M). A village of ancient India. (SlokaSl, 
Chapter 9, Bhlsma Parva, M.B.) . 

BHARGAVA. One who belongs to the Bln'gu dynasty. 
(See Bhrgu) . 

BHARGAVA (M) . A city in ancient India. (Bhlsma Parva, 
Chapter 9, Verse 50). 

BHARMYASVA. A famous kin? of Pancfila Desa. He had 
five heroic sons headed by Mudgala. (Navama Skandha, 
Bhagavata) . 

BHARTRHARI. A famous Sanskrit poet. 

1) Birth. He was the son of Vidyasagara, a great brahmin 
scholar, who lived in Pataliputra. There is a kgend 
about the birth of Bhartrhari in Uttara Bharata. 
Vidyasagara while young learnt the Vedas from his 
guru. But he was not satisfied with that study and 
wanted to learn more about all sastras and so he started 
on a tour to find out a guru who would teach him all 
he wanted. On his way he met several great scholars 
but none came up to his standard of a guru. One day 
tired after a long journey he reached a mountain valley. 
Washing his hands and feet in a nearby river and 
quenching his thirst he went and sat down under a 
banyan tree to rest. The cool breeze sent the tired 
brahmin to sleep and he slept. 

A Brahmaraksasa who was living on the top of the ban- 
yan tree when it became midday descended from 
the tree to perform the sacred rites of the day and found 
a man lying asleep. By the sacred thread on his body 
the Brahmaraksasa surmised that the man was a brah- 
min and woke him up. Waking up Vidyasagara found 
to his surprise the bearded Brahmaraksasa standing be- 
fore him and after mutual enquiries Vidyasagara told 
him of his mission. The Brahmaraksasa told him thus: 
"Boy, let your name Vidyasagara (ocean of learning) 
be true in your life. I am acquainted with many sast- 
ras and I shall teach you everything I know. But there 
are certain conditions for the same which you have to 
observe. You must live with me for six months and 
should fast during that period behaving yourself as 
one under a vow. I shall, however, teach you a mantra 
which would help you to remain unaffected by hunger, 
thirst or sleep. If you are prepared to accept these terms 
and become my disciple I shall quench your thirst for 
knowledge. Vidyasagara willingly agreed to his terms 
and became his student. 

Both of them then climbed on the banyan tree and the 
Brahmaraksasa sat in his usual place on a branch on 
the tree and Vidyasagara on a branch just below it. The 
instructions started and continued for six months. 
Vidyasagara never felt thirst or hunger during that 
period. When the teaching was complete the Brahma- 
Sa jayatam ravikirtilj kavitasrita-Kalidasa-Bharavikirtit.// 




raksasa bade farewell to his disciple and departed leaving 
his body behind. 

Vidyasagara then got down from the tree and performed 
the obsequies of his guru. Vidyasagara while he was 
learning used to note down the instructions of the guru 
on the leaves of the banyan tree. It had come to a huge 
bundle on completion. Taking the bundle along with 
him Vidyasagara left for his country. By the time he 
left the forest area the power of the mantra faded and 
Vidyasagara began to feel the pangs of hunger and 
thirst. By dusk he reached Kalinga and there he came 
to the door of a dancing girl named Mandakini. The 
door was locked as the owner was away in a Siva temple 
nearby. Exhausted by the journey, hungry and thirsty, 
Vidyasagara lay down on the doorstep and soon fell 
asleep with the leaf-bundle as a pillow. Mandakini when 
she returned from the temple at about ten at night saw 
a brahmin sleeping on the doorstep, tired and exhaust- 
ed. She soon asked her servants to get him inside and 
sent for a doctor. By the clever treatment of the doctor 
and the expert nursing of Mandakini, Vidyasagara sur- 
vived. When he was fit for travel he started to go but 
Mandakini objected and requested him to marry her. 
Vidyasagara did not agree to it and she took him to the 
King and told him all that had happened. Finding 
Vidyasagara to be one with great erudition and good 
manners he decided that Vidyasagara should marry 
his daughter (a Ksatriya), daughter of his minister 
(a brahmin) , daughter of Kulapati (a vaisya) , and 
also Mandakini (a Sudra). There was an injunction in 
those days that a brahmin should marry a Sudra only 
after having married from all the higher castes. The 
decision of the King surmounted this difficulty for 
Vidyasagara to marry the sudra girl, Mandakini. 
Marriages were all conducted in order. The King's 
daughter bore the name Kalavatl, the minister's Malati 
and Kulapati's Sumangall. Each delivered a son. The 
brahmin boy was named Vararuci, the Ksatriya boy, 
Vikramaditya, the Vaisya boy, Bhajti and the (Sudra 
boy, Bhartrhari. 

2) Kingship. When the King ofKaliiiga became old 
he gave the kingdom to Vidyasagara and when Vidya- 
bagara died all his other sons made Bhartrhari the King. 
Bhartrhari gave his father on his death-bed a promise 
that he would see that no sons were born to him. 1 
So though Bhartrhari married three wives he was care- 
ful enough not to produce any children by them. 

3 ) Dharlrhari becomes a sannyasi. Bhartrhari was living 
happily with his wife when one day a yogi of divine 
disposition came to his house and giving him a ripe 
mango said; "If you eat this mango you will never 
become old. It is because you who are perfect in edu- 
cation and fortune should live long for the benefit of 
the people that I am giving you this." So saying he 
gave the mango and left the place. When the sannyasi 
left him Bhartrhari thought thus: "After some years 
my wife would become old and die. What is the use 
of my remaining alive after she is gone. So this mango 
should be given to her. Let her live long." He, 
therefore, gave the mango to his wife explaining 
to her the greatness of the fruit. That wife whom poor 
Bhartrhari accepted to be very loving and chaste 
had a lover. He was none other than the horse- 

groom of her husband and that prostitute thought 
thus: "Of what use is my life when my lover is dead. 
Let him live for ever". So thinking she sent for her 
lover and giving him the mango explained to him the 
greatness of the thing. But the horse-groom was well 
devoted to his wife and desiring that his wife should 
remain young always he gave it to her. The groom's 
wife was a servant-maid of the palace and it was at the 
time of her departure from the palace after her day's 
work that she was given the mango by the horse-groom 
and so she carried it home in her hand. Bhartrhari 
who was returning from somewhere to the palace saw 
the woman carrying the mango and questioned her and 
knew how she got it. On coming to the palace he sent 
for the horse-groom and though at first the horse-groom 
tried to shield the queen, he was compelled to tell the 
truth in the end. The truth pained him much "Phew ! 
It was this wretched and unfaithful woman whom I was 
believing to be very chaste and loving. Woman can never 
be believed. Look, she has fallen in love with an ugly- 
looking servant of mine and unless he was her lover she 
would not have given this mango to him. It is better 
that this matter is not pursued any further now. We 
will decide about the future course of action later". 
Thinking thus, he sent away the horse-groom and went 
to his bed-chamber and lay there immersed in thoughts. 
The horse-groom immediately informed the queen of 
everything that took place and the queen felt sorry that 
her secret had come to light. She knew that besides the 
punishment that her lover would get her name would 
also be blackened and so decided to kill her husband 
before the affair became public. At once she made an 
oftata (flat bread made of wheat or rice) with poison in 
it and bringing it to the bed-room told her husband thus 
with much pretended affection. "It will take some time 
for your lunch to be ready. Let not you lie with an 
empty stomach. Eat this now". So saying she placed 
the bread in the hands of Bhartrhari and left the room. 
Bhartrhari suspected foul play and mused "This bread 
has been prepared by her with poison to kill me. It is 
better to give up living with her. There is no doubt 
about it. Of the four asramas the fourth, Sannyasa, is 
the best. It is pleasant and sorrowless. Therefore gra- 
dually that agrama should be accepted". Thinking thus 
he came out from his room with the bread and placed 
it hidden somewhere in the lower end of the roof of the 
house remarking "Ottappam Vitteccutum" (The Ottawa 
will burn the house). Then taking an earthern bowl for 
begging he left the house unnoticed by any. The moment 
Bhartrhari left the house the house caught fire and 
everything in it was burnt to ashes. 
Bhartrhari renouncing all and changing himself into 
the robes of a sannyasi went about living by begging. 
After some time he decided that he would never beg but 
would eat only that which others gave him voluntarily. 
He had by that time reached a big temple 2 in south 
India where in one of the entrances to the temple, the 
east one, was sitting the famous sannyasi Pattanatt 
Pillayar. Bhartrhari, therefore, went and sat at the 
western entrance with his bowl before him. Whatever 
food fell into the bowl was eaten by him. Sometimes 
for days together he went without food. But he never 
was sick or felt weak. 

1. There is a belief that if a son is born to a Sudra who was himself born of a brahmin the brahmin father would go to bell. 

2. This temple is believed to be the Chidambaram Temple. 




One day a beggar went to the eastern gate and asked 
Patfanatt Pillayar for alms. Pillayar said, "I am also a 
beggar like you. I have nothing in my hand to give you. 
But there is a man sitting in the western gate. He is a 
rich man and he may give you something". The beggar 
went to Bhartrhari and asked for alms. Bhartrhari 
also expressed his helplessness in the matter. But then 
the beggar said "The man sitting at the opposite entrance 
told me that you were a rich man." Bhartrhari smiled. 
He knew then why Pattanatt Pillayar said so. A man who 
has renounced everything need not keep even a bowl to 
beg. The bowl was a luxury and a sign of wealth. 
Bhartrhari threw away the bowl and remained at the 
temple entrance till the end of his life. It was while 
sitting there that he wrote his famous poems. 
4) His well-known works are: (1 ) The Niti Sataka (2) 
The SVngara Sataka (3) The Vairagya Sataka and (4) 
The Subhasitas. 

BHARTRSTHANA (M). A very holy place in ancient 
India. It is said that even those who merely visited this 
place would get the benefit of performing an Asvamedha 
yajna. The place got its importance because Lord 
Subrahmanya lived there. (Sloka 76, Chapter 84, Vana 
Parva, M'.B.) 

BHARU. A daughter of Daksaprajapati. The prajapati, 
at one stage begot sixty girls of Vairini and gave them 
to Kasyapa, who distributed them among several Devas. 
Bharu was the woman so given to the Visvadevatas. 
(Hari Varhsa, Chapter 3). 

BHARUKA. A king of the Solar dynasty. He was the 
son of Sudeva and father of Bahuka. (Navama Skanda, 
Bhagavata ) . 

BHARUKAKSA(M). A village of ancient India. 
Sudras lived there. At that time of the Rajasuya of 
Dharmaputra these Sudras brought gifts to the King. 
(Chapter 51, Sabha Parva). 

BHARUIVDA. A particular kind of bird found in the 
Kingdom called Uttarakuruvarsa. These birds carry in 
their strong beak corpses to their caves and eat them. 
(Bhlsmaparva, Chapter 7, Verse 12). 

BHARYA. Wife. Bhisma points out the sanctified impor- 
tance of Bharyii (wife) as follows: 
Without her even the palace will prove itself to be just a 
forest. She will be a great support (to the husband ) in 
the matter of dharma (duty ) artha (wealth ) and Kama 
(enjoyment of material comforts ) . (These three precede 
the ultimate state of Moksa (salvation) and the wife will 
be a great support in fulfilling the conditions during the 
first three stages.) While on tour in foreign places she 
will remain faithful to him and instil confidence in him. 
Bharya is great wealth to man. 

In his forlorn life on earth the wife is of great help to 
man. To him, who is suffering from diseases and is 
otherwise in distress there is no remedy (medicine) like 
a good wife. There is no relative like a wife. In the 
matter of practising dharma there is no other support to 
match the wife. If one has no good wife to take care of 
domestic affairs one will be driven to the forest; the 
home will be like a forest. (Santi Parva, Chapter 144). 

BHASA. A very prominent dramatist in Sanskrit. As and Kalidasa have noticed him in their works, 
it may safely be assumed that Bhasa lived in an earlier 
period. Since Pratima. nataka and Abhiseka na{aka, 
which are universally admitted to have been composed 
by Bhasa, depend for their themes on the Valmiki 

Ramayana, it is clear that Bhasa lived after Valmiki. 
Kalidasa's period has not yet been fixed beyond doubt. 
It is almost settled that Bana lived sometime between the 
sixth and seventh centuries A.D. Prof. Keith has been 
of the view that Valmiki lived before the 4th century 
B.C. In the light of all such factors it could be presumed 
that Bhasa lived in the period between the 4th century 
B.C. and 6th century A.D. 

Though Bhas^a has so many glories to his credit he does 
not fully match Kalidasa, and this might have been the 
reason why Indians did almost forget Bhasa with the 
advent of Kalidasa on the literary arena. 
We are not in a position to name with unerring definite- 
ness the works of Bhasa. The general belief is that he 
has written nearly twenty three dramas. In 1922, Pandit 
Ganapati Sastrl unearthed from various sources thirteen 
dramas of Bhasa. Three out of them, viz. Pratima- 
yaugandharayana, Svapnavasavadatta and Avima- 
raka owe their themes to the Brhatkatha, while Prati- 
ma nataka and Abhiseka nataka have Ramayana as 
their basic inspiration. Out of the eight remaining 
dramas six, viz. Madhyama vyayoga, Pancaratra, Duta- 
vakya, Dutaghatotkaca, Karnabhara and Orubhanga 
owe their themes to the Mahabharata, while the last 
two dramas, Balacarita and Carudatta are dependent 
for their themes on anecdotes about Sri Krsna and on 
yaksa stories. 

Though Dr. Ganapati Sastri has strongly contended that 
all the above thirteen dramas were written by Bhasa 
himself, his view has not yet received universal accep- 
tance. Whatever that be, it is an admitted fact that 
Svapnavasavadatta is by far the best among the thirteen 
dramas. It is a continuation of the story of Pratijnayau- 
gandharayana. The wedding of king Udayana and 
Vasavadatta is the subject matter of Svapnavasava- 

With his killing of the Raksasa 'Avi' the Sauvira king 
comes to be known as Avimara, and Avimara's falling 
in love with Kurarigi, daughter of Kuntibhoja forms the 
theme of the drama, Avimaraka. In Pratima nataka 
is told the story narrated in Ramiiyana from Ayodhya- 
kanda to Pattabhiseka. Abhiseka nataka codifies the 
stories in theKiskindha Kanda and Sundara Kanda of 
the Ramayana and describes the coronations of Sugrlva 
and of Sri Rama. Though the characters in Pancaratra 
are borrowed from Mahabharata the story is entirely 
Bhasa's. Madhyama vyayoga, Datavakya, Dutaghatot- 
kaca, Karnabhara and Urubhaiiga are one-act plays. 
These five plays have as their basis some of the anecdotes 
in the Mahabharata. In Carudatta is treated the love 
story of Carudatta and Vasantasena. 
Indisputable evidence is still lacking to credit Bhasa 
with the authorship of all the thirteen plays referred to 

BHASAS. (See Bhasi). 

BHASAKARIV'A. A military captain of Ravana. Hanu- 
man killed him in fight. (Valmiki Ramayana, Sundara 
Kanda 46, 47). 

BHASl. Daughter of Tamra, Daksa's daughter. Kasyapa 
prajapati married the following daughters of Daksa: 
Aditi, Diti, Danu, Kalika, Tamra, Krodhavasa, Manu 
and Anala. Tamra had five daughters, viz. Kraunci, 
Bhasi, Syeni, DhrtarAstrl and Suki. And, the sons of 
Bhasi are the Deva sect called the Bhasas. (Valmiki 
Ramayana, Aranya Kanda, Canto 14). 




BHASKARA. One of the Dvadasadityas born of Kasyapa 
prajapati and Aditi. (Anusasana 1 arva, Verse 150). 

BHASKARACARYA. A master astronomer of ancient 
India. It was he who declared, much earlier than western 
experts, that the earth is round in shape. 

BHA.SKAR1. An old maharsi of India. He accompanied 
the Rsis who visited Bhisma on his bed of arrows. (Santi 
Parva, Chapter 47, \erse 12). 

BHASMA. (Sacred ash). To know a story about the 
greatness of Bhasma see under the word Durjaya. 

BHASMASURA. A demon. There is no mention about 
this demon in any of the Sanskrit puranas but 'Sivall- 
lamrta' in Marathi contains the following story about 

Bhasmasura was born of the Bhasma dust (ashes) on 
the body of Siva. Pleased at the great devotion of the 
demon towards him Siva asked him to name any boon 
he wanted. Bhasmasura said that he wanted the power 
to burn to ashes anybody on whose head he placed his 
hand. Bhasmasura became arrogant with the boon 
and he became a nightmare to the whole world. Then 
Mahavisnu appeared before him in the form of MohinI, 
an attractive dancer and alluring him by her charm 
started on a dance called Muktanrtya. During the course 
of this dance Bhasmasura was forced to place his hand 
on his own head and the moment his head touched his 
head he was burnt to ashes. 

BHASVARA. One of the two attendants presented by 
Surya to Subrahmanya; the other was named Subh- 
raja. (Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 31). 

BHATTANARAYANA. A Sanskrit poet who flourished 
near about A.D. 700. Venlsaihhara, a drama in six 
acts is the only composition of his found out, yet. He 
is also known by another name, Mrgarajalaksma. 
Certain scholars opine that he might have lived before 
Bana and after Vamana. 

BHA TTANAYAKA. A literary critic who flourished in 
the 10th century A.D. in India. He composed a critical 
study on the science of dance (Na{ya) named Hrdaya- 
darpana based on the Natya sastra of Bharata. But, 
the book has not been found out, yet. Contesting the 
dhvanivada (the rhetorical theory that in poetry sugges- 
ted or implied meaning is superior to the explicit mean- 
ning) of Anandavardhanacarya, he established the rasa- 
vada (that sentiment is supreme in poetry). Abhi- 
navagupta also has supported the rasavada. Hence, 
it may be inferred that Bhattanayaka lived in the period 
after Anandavardhana and anterior to Abhinavagupta. 
Bhattanayaka's theory is that Abhidha, Bhavakatvarh 
and Bhojakatvam should be the three excellences of 
good poetry. 

BHAi'TI. A Sanskrit poet who lived in the 7th century 
A.D. His most important composition is the Maha- 
kavya, Ravanavadha, which has become very popular 
and famous by the name Bhattikavya. This mahakavya 
deals with the story of Ramayana in its twentytwo 
Kandas (cantos). The kavya is believed to have been 
composed at Valabhl in obedience to the request of 
King Srldharasena. 

BHAUMA I. The fourteenth Manu. In the time of this 
Manu, the person called Suci will be Indra. Under his 
control there will be five groups of Devas. These groups 
are called Caksusas, Pavitras, Kanisthas, Bhrajikas 
and Vapavrddhas. The Saptai sis (seven sages) of that 
Manvantara are Agnibahu, Suci, Sukra, Magadha, 

Agnldhra, Yukta and Jita. At that time, the sons of 
Manu who will be protecting the earth will be Uru, 
gariibhirabuddhi and other Kings. (Visnu Purana, 
3rd Part, Chapter 2). 

BHAUMA II. Another name of Narakasura. (See the 
word Narakasura). 

BHAUMA III. A Raksasa born to Sirhhika by Vipracitti. 
Parasu-Rama killed him. (Brahmaiula 3-6-18-22). 

BHAUTYA. See the word Manvantara. 

BHAVA I. One of the eleven Rudras. He was the son of 
Sthanu and grandson of Brahma. (Chapter 66, Adi 
Parva, M.B.). 

BHAVA II. A sanatana Visvadeva. (Chapter 60, Adi 
Parva, M.B.). 

BHAVA III. One of the sons born to Kasyapa of Sura- 

BHAVA (M) I. A famous forest mentioned in the 
Puranas. Bhava was near the Venumanda mountain, 
which was close to Dvaraka.. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 38). 

BHAVA. One of the twelve Devas born to Bhrguvaruni 
Rsi of his wife Divya. 

BHAVABHUTI. A Sanskrit poet who lived in the 7th 
century A.D. His important works are the three dramas, 
Malatlmadhava, Mahaviracarita and Uttararama- 
carita. Bhavabhuti was a brahmin of the Kasyapa- 
gotra. He was the son of one Nilakantha and one Jatu- 
karnl. He was a great devotee of Siva and he got his 
name Bhavabhuti later because, of this. His original 
name was Nilakantha. Bhavabhuti was born in Padma- 
pura in the state of Vidarbha. But Bhavabhuti spent 
most of his life in the palace of Yasodharma, king of 

Bhavabhiiti's first drama is believed to be Mahavira- 
carita. There are seven acts in this. The theme is based 
on the story of Sri Rama. But there are some variations 
from the original Ramayana in this drama. Bhava- 
bhuti states that even at the time of the svayamvara of 
Slta, Ravana was a suitor. There is an opinion among 
certain critics that Bhavabhuti did write only up to the 
46th verse in the fourth act and the rest was written 
by another poet named Subrahmanya. 
Malatlmadhava is a drama often acts. It is a love-story 
of MalatI and Madhava. Malatl was the daughter of the 
minister of Ujjayini and Madhava was the son of the 
minister of Vidarbha. It was while Madhava was having 
his education in Ujjayini that he came to love Malatl. 
It was Kamandaki who was a classmate of both the 
ministers and who became a sannyasini later who pulls 
the strings of this love story. The king of Ujjayini wanted 
Malatl to marry Nandana, a friend of his. But Malatl 
did not love him. Yet afraid of getting the displeasure of 
the King, Malati's father decided to give her in marriage 
to Nandana. In despair Madhava was about to commit 
suicide when from the temple nearby Madhava heard 
an agonised weeping. He rushed to the site of the sound 
and found to his bewilderment the gruesome sight of 
Malatl being dragged for sacrifice by a sorceress named 
Kapalakundala helped by her guru Aghoraghanta. 
Madhava killed Aghoraghanta and saved Malatl. 
Disappointed KapalakundaLi swore that she would 
seek revenge on Madhava and disappeared. Malatl 
went back to her palace. At this time Madayaritika, 
sister of Nandana and Makaranda, a friend of Madhava 
became lovers. Once Madayantika was attacked by a 
tiger in a Siva temple and Makaranda saved her from 




the wild beast, and they became lovers thereafter. The 
proposal to give Malati in marriage to Nandana was 
still pending then. The marriage day was fixed and a 
day before that by a clever ruse played by the keen- 
witted Kamandaki Mulati and Madhava eloped together. 
Makaranda, friend of Madhava, was disguised and dressed 
in bridal robes and Nandana little suspecting the trick 
played on him married the substitute. Before they went 
to the bridal chamber for the night Nandana's sister 
came to see her new sister-in-law and the moment she 
put her eyes on her she understood who it was and that 
night they also eloped. Thus poor Nandana was left 

Kapalakundala by her sorcery separated Malati from 
Madhava but luckily Saudaminl a disciple of Kaman- 
taki saved her from Kapalakundala. Later Malati 
married Madhava with the permission of the King. 
This is the story of Malati-Madhava. 
Uttararamacarita is a play of seven acts. The theme is 
the story of Rama after his return to Ayodhya after the 
exile. It begins with the renouncement of Slta by Rama 
and ends with the vanishing of Slta. 
All these three dramas used to be enacted during the 
festival of 'Kalapriyanatha ' at Ujjayini. The predomi- 
nant emotion in Mahavlracarita is 'Vira', in Malati- 
Madhava, 'Srrigara' and in Uttararamacarita 'Karuna'. 
In expressing and elaborating the emotion of 'Karuna' 
Bhavabhuti excels Kalidasa. The one draw-back which 
keeps him second to Kalidasa is his lack of humour and 
wit. The Sanskrit poet Dhanapala in his book' 
'Tilakamanjari' speaks about Bhavabhuti thus : 
Spastabhavarasa citraih 

Padanyasaih pravarttita / 
Natakesu natastrlva 

Bharati Bhavabhdtina // 

BHAVADA. A follower of Skandadeva. (Chapter 45, 
Salya Parva). 

HAVANMANYU. A king of Puruvarhsa. He had five 
B sons: Brhatksatra, Nara, Garga, Mahavlrya and Jaya. 

(Caapter 19, Arhsa 4, Visnu Purana). 
BHAVANIKA. A companion of princess Mrgarhkavatl. 

(See Sridatta). 

BHAVATI. The word prescribed by Manu to be used 
while addressing women. Not all women should be 
addressed like that. All women who are not your rela- 
tives and the wives of others should be addressed using 
any one of the following words: Bhavati, Subhag : or 

Parapatni tu ya strl syad 

asambaddha ca yonitah / 
Tarn bruyad bhavatltyevaih 
Subhage bhaginiti ca. // 

(Manusmrti, Chapter 2). 

BHAVAYAVYA. A muni, whose glories are sung in the 
Rgveda. He married Romasa, daughter of Bhrhaspati. 
Once she approached her husband with the request for 
coition, and the husband laughed at her. (Rgveda, 
Mandala 19, Anuvaka 19, Sukta 127). 
BHAVINl. A female attendant of Subrahmanya: (Salya 

Parva, Chapter 44, Verse 11). 

BHAVISYA PURATSA. This purana contains the instruc- 
tions given by the god Surya to Manu. There are about 
fourteen thousand books in this purana and they deal 

i. Since much information about Bhima is given under the 
a brief description of Bhima is attempted under the present heading. 

with almost all subjects on earth including such impor- 
tant ones like, Srsti (creation), Kalamana (lime), 
Garbhadhana (conception), Godana (gift of cows), 
Asramadharmas (duties of a hermit) Linga Sastra 
(science of sex), Visacikitsa (treatment of poisoning) 
and Ayurveda (Medical science). (Chapter 272, Agni 

BHAVLSYARAMAYA". A. The part after Uttararama- 
yana. Uttararamayana states about Bhavisyaramayana 
being sung by Kus'a and Lava in the presence of Sri 

BHAVUKA. A king of the solar dynasty. He was the 
son of Ravlya and father of Cakroddhata. (Bhagavata, 
Navama Skandha). 

BHAVYAI. A son of Dhruva. He got of his wife Sambhu 
two sons, Sisti and Bhavya. (Chapter 13, Arhsa 1, 
Visnu Purana). 

BHAVYA II. A clan of devas in Raivatamanvantara. 
Parimiti, Priyaniscaya, Mali, Mana, Vicetasa, Vijaya, 
Sujaya and Syoda are some of the prominent devas of 
the clan. (Brahmanda Purana, 2.36, 71-72). 

BHAVYA III. One of the Saptarsis (seven sacred 
saints) of Daksasavarni Manvantara. 

BHAYA. A demoness, sister of Kala who presides over 
the land of death. She was married to Heti, son of 
Brahma, and brother of Praheti. Vidyutkesa was their 
son and he married Salakantaka, daughter of Sandhya. 
(Uttara Ramayana). 

BHAYA (M ) . Himsa is the wife of Adharma. They got 
a son named Anrta and a daughter named Nikrti. From 
them were born Bhaya, Naraka, Maya and Vedana. 
Of these Maya produced Mrtyu, destroyer of matter. 
Vedana got of her husband Raurava son named Duhkha. 
From Mrtyu were born Vyadhi, Jara, Soka, Tr?na 
and Krodha. (Chapter 20, Agni Purana). Another 
version about the birth of Bhaya is found in Sloka 54, 
Chapter 66 of Adi Parva, M.B. Adharma married Nirrti 
and to them were born Bhaya, Mahabhaya and Mrtyu, 
three sons of demoniac disposition. These three sons 
led a sinful life. 

BHAYANKARA I. A prince of the country of Sauvlra. 
He was a dependant of Jayadratha. It was this Bhayan- 
kara who followed Jayadratha with his flag when he 
was trying to kidnap Pancall. Arjuna killed him. 
(Chapter 265 and 271, Vana Parva, M.B.). 

BHAYANKARA II. A sanatana VKvadeva. (Chapter 
91, Anusasana Parva, M.B. ). 

BHAYANKARl. A follower of Subrahmanya. (Sloka 4. 
Chapter 46, Salya Parva, M.B.). 

BHEDl. A female attendant of Subrahmanya (M.B. 
Salya Tarva, Chapter 46, Verse 13). 

BHELA. A disciple of Punarvasu Atreya who was an 
Ayurvtda acarya. He was a contemporary of Agnive^a 
and has composed a work on Ayurveda, entitled 'Bhela- 

BHERlSVATA. A female attendant of Subrahmanya. 
(M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse 26). 

BHlMA. Bhimasena, one of the five Pandavas. 1 

1) Genealogy. (See genealogy of Arjuna). 

2) Birth and childhood. King Vicitravirya of Candra 
vaiiisa (lunar dynasty) had two sons called Dhrta- 
rastra and Pandu. The Kauravas (Duryodhana etc.) were 
sons born to Dhrtarastra of his wife Gandhari, and the 

captions Dharmaputra, Arj una, Nakula, Sahadeva and Pancali only 




Pandavas were the sons of Pandu and his wives Kunti 
and Madri. Dharmaputra, Bhima and Arjuna were 
the sons of Kunti, and Nakula and Sahadeva of 
Madri. 1 

Kunti directed a mantra gifted to her by Durvasas to- 
wards Vayubhagavan (the wind-god) and the result 
was the birth of Bhlma. Hence he is called Vayu-putra 
(son of the wind-god ) . At the time of his birth a celestial 
voice announced that the boy would grow up to be the 
strongest among the strong. (Adi Parva, Chapter 122, 
Verse 14). On the tenth day after birth the child Bhlma 
fell from his mother's lap on a rock. Bhlma was not 
injured in any manner by that fall, although it crushed 
the rock into power. (This story is told in the southern 
texts of the Mahabharata in Chapter 132 of Adi Parva). 
The naming ceremony of the child was performed by 
the Maharsis, who stayed at Satasrnga. Kasyapa Maha- 
rsi, family priest of Vasudeva performed the ceremonies 
like wearing of the sacred thread. Bhlma learned fight- 
ing with the gadi (club or mace) from Suka, the famous 

The Kauravas and the Pandavas spent their childhood 
in Hastinapura. Dronacarya taught them fighting 
with weapons. The Kauravas and the Pandavas often 
engaged themselves in children's games. In all such 
games Bhlma used to hurt and defeat the Kauravas, 
and to this fact the unending hatred of the Kauravas 
towards Bhima owed its origin. Once they adminis- 
tered poison to Bhlma who fell down unconscious, and 
then they threw him into the depths of the Gaiiga 
(Ganges). Going deeper and deeper in the waters 
Bhlma, at last, reached the Nagaloka, where the nagas 
(serpents) bit him which neutralized the effects of the 
poison in his body. There he got acquainted with a 
naga called Aryaka, who introduced him to Vasuki, 
king of the nagas, and Vasuki presented him with much 
wealth and other costly gems. But, what use was all 
this wealth to Bhlma ? Then Vasuki agreed to give him 
a divine drink, which would give the user of it the 
strength of thousand elephants. Bhlma drank at one 
draught eight pot-fulls of that divine drink, and thus 
became tremendously strong. But, he had to wait in 
Nagaloka for eight days so that the drink might be 
thoroughly assimilated, and on the ninth day the nagas 
saw him off in all pomp and splendour. Bhima returned 
to his mother and brothers and consoled them, who 
were terribly anxious at his absence. 
When the training of the princes in the use of weapons 
was over a competition or test was conducted. Duryo- 
dhana and Bhlma entered into a 'club-fight', and when 
Kama tried to intervene in the fight his nobility was 
questioned by Bhlma. Duryodhana then insulted Bhima. 
Arjuna agreed to present King Drupada before Drona- 
carya as gurudaksina to him. In the fierce war the 
Pandavas fought with Drupada, Bhima annihilated the 
elephant division of the latter's army. And, afterwards 
Bhima underwent higher training in club-war at the 
hands of Balabhadrarama. (Adi Parva, Chapter 136, 
Verse 4). 

3) The Pandavas left Hastinapura. As enmity between 
the Kauravas and the Pandavas began growing stronger 
and stronger, Duryodhana, with his father's permission, 
removed the Pandavas to varauavata and settled them 
there. They were put up there in a palace specially 

made of lac. The Pandavas divined the secret of it and 
escaped from the fire, when the palace was set fire to. 
Verse 10, Chapter 147 of the Adi Parva states that it 
was Bhima, who set fire to the palace. Escaping thus 
through a tunnel the Pandavas travelled a great distance 
in the forest. Kunti and four of her sons got tired by the 
exertions of the travel and were forced to sit down for 
rest on the way. Bhima, continued the journey carrying 
the mother and his four brothers on his shoulders. With 
their entry into Hidirhba forest the weakness left them, 
and they became their former selves. 

4) Hidimba killed. Kunti devi and four sons slept under 
the shade of a tree at dusk, and Bhima kept guard over 
therri. There dwelt in the forest a Ruksasa called Hidimba 
with his sister, Hidiihbi. Hidimba looked around that 
particular day from the top of a tree, and detecting 
Bhima his mouth watered. He deputed Hidimbi to 
bring Bhima over to him. Hidiriibi approached Bhima, 
whose fine figure kindled feelings of love in her. She 
desired to have him as husband. Hidimbi having not 
returned even after a long time Hidimba went over to 
the spot, and there finding Hidiihbi in love-talks with 
Bhima he got terribly angry. He wanted to kill Hidimbi. 
Bhima, who could not surfer the killing of a woman in 
his presence rushed against Hidiriiba, The noise of the 
fight awakened the other Pandavas from sleep, and at 
the instance of Arjuna, BhLna killed Hidimba. Thus 
rendered helpless and forlorn HidLhbl again craved 
Bhima for love. On the suggestion of Kunti, whose 
heart melted at the sight of Hidimbi's helplessness Bhima 
took her as his wife. But, one condition was stipulated 
for their enjoying the honey-moon. The condition was 
that they might enjoy honey-moon, from dawn to dusk 
in the sky and on mountain tops, Hidiihbi, who was 
endowed with magic powers carrying Bhima with her. 
And, after dusk Bhima was to be returned to Kunti. 
Accordingly Bhima and Hidiihbi spent one year, and 
to them was born a son called Ghatotkaca. Promising 
that he shall return when wanted, Ghatotkaca with his 
mother went into the forest. The Pandavas also left 
for the village called Ekacakra. (Adi Parva, Chapters 

5) Killing of Baka and the wedding of Pancali. While at 
Ekacakra Bhima killed the Raksasa called Baka and 
freed the people of the village from their distress. 
Afterwards the Pandavas attended the Svayamvara 

(free choice of the husband by woman) of Pancali, 
who became their wife. There Bhima defeated Salya 
in fight. And, the Pandavas duly returned to Hastina- 
pura. (For details see Baka, Pancali and Arjuna). 

6 ) Again to forest. On their return to Hastin .pura the 
Pandavas took their residence in the palace built by 
Maya. There Maya presented a magnificent club to 
Bhima. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 3, Verse 18). It was 
Sri Krsna, lord of Dvaraka who served as the right hand 
of the Pandavas. Jarasandha, who was then King of 
Magadha fought with Krsna eighteen times and got 
defeated. Yet he did not yield, and at last Krsna decided 
to do away with him. Krsna, Arjuna and Bhima, in 
disguise, set out for Magadha. 1'hey entered Jarasandha's 
palace and challenged him to a duel. Bhima and Jara- 
sandha clashed, and at the instance of Krsna Bhima 
rent the latter in two and threw him on the ground. 
Though Jarasandha was alive again, Bhima rent him 

i ThePamJavas were not in fact direct issues of Pandu. For details see Kunti. 




in two and threw away the two parts to two places. 
(M. B. Sabha Parva, Southern Text, Chapter 24). 
The main impediments and thorns in their way thus 
having been removed, Dharmaputra decided to perform 
Rajasuya. Bhima was deputed to conquer all the king- 
doms in the eastern part of India. Bhima achieved the 
object and returned with great wealth to Indraprastha. 
Though Bhima got ready to kill Sisupala, who alone 
refused to acknowledge the suzerainty of Yudhis^hira, 
he also yielded on the tactful advice of Bhisma. The 
Rajasuya Yajiia went off quite successfully. It was 
Bhima, who, after the Yajfia was over, took Bhisma and 
Yudhisjhira to Hastinapura. Afterwards, in the contest 
in the game of dice played between Dharmaputra and 
Duryodhana, the Pandavas lost everything. The Kaura- 
vas brought into the assembly hall and attempted 
to strip her naked in public. Bhima who got enraged at 
this shouted that the hands of Yudhisfhira who played 
dice should be burnt in fire. (Adi Parva, Chapter 68, 
Verse 6 ) . And, Bhima took then and there the terrible 
pledge that he would, with his hands stained by blood 
from the chest of Duss'asana, who tried to rip Pancall 
naked, tie up Pancall's hair which got untied in the 
scuffle. He also swore that he would break the thigh of 
Duryodhana. In uncontrollable rage Bhima also shouted 
that he would turn into ashes all those who took part in 
the game of dice. Bhima took also the vow that all the 
Kauravas would be killed. 

According to the terms and conditions laid down with 
regard to the contest in the game of dice the Pandavas 
went into the Kamyaka forest to live there for twelve 
years and then to live incognito for one year. 
7) Life in forest and life incognito. There lived in Kam- 
yaka forest a Raksasa called Kirmlra, brother of Bala, 
whom Bhima had killed on an earlier occasion. Kirmlra, 
who was awaiting an opportunity to avenge the murder 
of his brother, now clashed with Bhima in the forest. 
Bhima did very easily kill him. (For details see Kir- 
mlra ) . 

Thus the Pandavas spent their days once again in the 
Kamyaka forest under the spiritual leadership of sage 
Dhaumya. They thought about their lost kingdom. 
Should they go to war against the Kauravas or should 
they spend the rest of their lives in the exercise of dharmic 
injunctions ? At one time Bhima advised Yudhis{hira 
against war; but on another occasion he pleaded vehe- 
mently in favour of war. It was during this time that 
Arjuna went to the Himalayas to please Siva by penance 
and get from him the Pasupatastra. (Arrow called 
Pasupata). The Pandavas naturally got nervous and 
upset at the rather long absence of Arjuna; Bhima was 
more anxious and sorry than the others. Then the 
Pandavas set out in search of Arjuna, and travelled upto 
Mount Gandhamadana. Then the party got so tired 
that they could not proceed any further. Pancall fell 
down fainting. Then Bhima remembered Ghatotkaca, 
who appeared before his father (Bhima) at once. As 
directed by Bhima Ghatotkaca mounted the Pandavas 
on his shoulders and the journey continued. They 
reached the Asrama of Naranarayanas, and rested there 
for six days. One day the wind blowing from the north- 

east dropped near Pancall a Saugandhika flower. And, 
Bhima set out in the north-cast direction to fetch saugan- 
dhika flowers for Pancali, who felt a special liking for 

Walking and walking Bhima entered Kadalivana. 
Hanuman, his skin wrinkled and hair grey due to old 
age, was living in this forest. He obstructed the path of 
Bhima. Hanuman awoke from sleep and raised his tail 
with a terrific sound. Bhima walked upto the place 
whence the sound was heard. 1 (Vanaparva, Chapter 
146). In the clash that ensued between Hanuman and 
Bhima the former came out victorious. Hanuman, 
however, congratulated Bhima and directed him on the 
path to the saugandhika forest. 

Bhlmasena reached the saugandhika forest, which was 
being guarded by the Raksasas called Krodhavasas. 
Bhima overcame them, collected the flowers and return- 
ing with them stayed in the Badarikasrama with his 
brothers and Pancall. Here it was that Bhima killed 
Jafasura. (For details see Jatasura II). 
Four years were thus spent; yet Arjuna had not returned. 
The Pandavas continued their journey northward. 
On the 17th day they came to the Asrama of Vrsaparva 
in the Himalayas. They were duly received by the 
maharsi, who directed them in their onward journey. 
Continuing the journey they reached the Asrama of 
Arstisena whence, after crossing various mountain peaks 
and still walking they reached Kubera's Alakapuri when 
a Yaksa called Maniman obstructed their further pro- 
gress. Bhima killed Maniman and the other Yaksas who 
rushed to his support. Hnally Kubera himself saw 
Bhima and blessed the Pandavas. 

While they were returning from Kubera's palace Bhima 
was caught by a python. But, it was really Nahusa 
transformed into a python on account of a curse. Bhima 
killed it and it assumed its original form as Nahusa. 
(See Agastya, Para 8 ) . By this time Arjuna had obtained 
Pasupatastra from Siva and he duly returned to his 
brothers, and the Pandavas continued their journey in 
the forest. 

Meantime, knowing that the Pandavas were put up in 
Dvaitavana, the Kauravas started for their dwelling 
place in a procession led by Duryodhana with the army 
and camped nearly two furlongs away from a pool in 
Dvaitavana. While thus camping Duryodhana clashed 
with a Gandharva called Citrasena, who with a number 
of his comrades came to the pool for water games, 
and in the encounter the latter made Duryodhana 
prisoner. Bhlmasena who witnessed the scene very much 
laughed at Duryodhana. But, Arjuna intervened and 
set free Duryodhana and others. 

The Pandavas again entered the Kamyaka forest, and 
it was at that time that Jayadratha abducted Pancali. 
Bhima killed Kotikasya who acted on behalf of Jaya- 
dratha. (See Kotikasya). Moreover Bhima captured 
Jayadratha, got his head shaved clean and declared that 
he was a slave of Dharmaputra. It was here at Dvaita- 
vana that Dharmadeva tested the Pandavas, who had 
gone to a nearby pool to fetch water; all the Pandavas 
except Yudhisthira died at the pool, but were brought 
back to life again. (See Dharmaputra, Para 7). The 

i . When raised, Hanuman's tail was as high in the sky as the flag of Indra, and produced a thunderous sound. As though the 
mountains were vomitting through their mouth, the sound produced by the raising of the tail shook the mountains. Drowning the trumpeting of 
excited elephants the sound reverberated all around the mountains. Hearing the sound Bhima, his w hi It Uu\ horripilalrd entered the 
forest in the direction of the sound. In the middle of Kadalivana, on a mighty rock, Bhima saw Hanuman. 




twelve years' forest-life of the Pandavas now came to 
an end. 

According to the advice of Dharmadeva the Pandavas 
selected the Virata palace for their life incognito, Bhima- 
sena assuming the name Vallava (Valala). And, here 
Bhima killed in a duel Jlmiita, the pugilist. (See Jlmuta 
II). It was also here that Bhima killed Klcaka and the 
Upakicakas. (See Klcaka). On another occasion, at 
the instance of Yudhisthira Bhima took Sudharma, King 
of Dasarna to Yudhisthira captive; but he was later set 
free. Next year the Pandavas defeated Duryodhana in 
the fight in connection with the theft of the cows of the 
Virata King, and then they declared that their forest 
life and life incognito were over. 
8 ) Bhima in the great war. Even after the return of the 
Pandavas after the forest life and life incognito the 
Kauravas refused to give them half of the kingdom. So, 
both the parties began preparations for war. Given here- 
under is the main incident relating to Bhima from this 
period to the Svargarohana (going to Heaven) of the 
Pandavas after relinquishing the kingdom in favour of 
Pariksit, including their victory in war and the adminis- 
tration of the country. 

( 1 ) Sanjaya described to Dhrtarastra the prowess and 
achievements of Bhima. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 50). 

(2) Sri Krsna before leaving for the Kaurava assembly 
for compromise talks asked for the views of Bhima about 
the whole problem, and Bhima opined that peace was 
preferable to war. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 74). 

( 3 ) When Sri Krsna admonished Bhima he opted for war 
and waxed eloquent about his heroism and prowess. 
(Udyoga Parva, Chapter 76). 

(4) Bhima wanted Sikhandi to be appointed chief of the 
army. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 161). 

(5) Bhima sent back with an insulting reply Uluka, 
who was sent by Duryodhana to the Pandavas with a 
message. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 163). 

(6; Bhima questioned Dharmaputra who, when the 

armies had taken position on opposite sides, went on foot 

to the Kaurava assembly without bow and arrows. 

(Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 48, Verse 17). 

(7j The world shuddered at the war cry of Bhima. 

(Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 44, Verse 8). 

(8j On the first day of the war Bhima fought a duel with 

Duryodhana. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 19). 

( 9) In the fight with the Kalingas Bhima killed Sakra- 
deva. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 54, Verse 24). 

(10) Bhima killed" Bhanuman. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 
54, Verse 39). 

(11) He killed Satyadeva and Salya, who guarded the 
chariot wheels of Srutayus, King of Kalinga. (Bhlsma 
Parva, Chapter 54, Verse 76). 

(12) Killed Ketuman. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 54, 
Verse 77). 

(13) Annihilated the elephant division of the Kaurava 
army, and rivers of blood flowed. (Bhlsma Parva, 
Chapter 54, Verse 103). 

( 14) Defeated Duryodhana. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 58, 
Verse 16). 

( 15) Fought against Bhlsma. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 
63, Verse 1). 

(16 1 Fought against the whole lot of Kauravas, and in 
this fight eight sons of Dhrtarastra viz. Senapati, Jara- 
sandha, Suseua, Ugra, Virabahu, Bhima, Bhimaratha 

and Sulocana were killed. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 64, 
Verse 32). 

( 1 7) Fought a fierce war against Bhlsma. (Bhlsma Parva, 
Chapter 72, Verse 21). 

(18j Fought with Duryodhana. (Bhlsma Parva, Chap- 
ter 72, Verse 17). 

( 19j Defeated Duryodhana the second time. (Bhlsma 
Parva, Chapter 79, Verse 11). 

(20) Defeated Krtavarma. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 82, 
Verse 60). 

(21) Killed Bhisma's charioteer. (Bhlsma Parva, Chap- 
ter 88, Verse 12). 

( 22) Killed eight more sons of Dhrtarastra. (Chapter 88, 
Verse 13, Bhlsma Parva). 

( 23) Struck by the arrow of Bhima, Dronacarya fell down 
unconscious. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 94, Verse 18). 

(24) Killed nine more sons of Dhrtarastra. (Bhlsma 
Parva, Chapter 96, Verse 23). 

(25) Defeated Balhika. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 104, 
Verse 18). 

( 26) Fought a duel with Bhurisravas. (Bhlsma Parva, 
Chapter 110, Verse 10). 

(27) Killed ten maharathis (heroes in chariot war) of 
the Kaurava army. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 113). 

( 28) Dhrtarastra applauded the prowess of Bhima. 
(Drona Parva, Chapter 10, Verse 13). 

(29) Bhima fought with Vivimsati. (Drona Parva, Chap- 
ter 14, Verse 27). 

( 30) Defeated Salya in club fight. (Drona Parva, Chapter 
15, Verse 8). 

(31) Fought with Durmarsana. (Drona Parva, Chapter 
25, Verse 5). 

(32) Killed Anga, king of the Mleccha tribe. (Drona 
Parva, Chapter 26, Verse 17). 

( 33) Fought with the elephant of Bhagadatta, was 
defeated and ran away. (Drona Parva, Chapter 26, 
Verse 19). 

( 34) Attacked Karna and killed fifteen warriors of his. 
(Drona Parva, Chapter 32, Verse 32). 

(35) Fought with Vivimsati, Citrasena and Vikarna. 
(Drona Parva, Chapter 96, Verse 31). 

( 36) Fought with Alambusa and came out victorious. 
(Drona Parva, Chapter 106, Verse 16). 

(3 7) Fought with Krtavarma. (Drona Parva, Chapter 
114, Verse 67). 

( 38) Consoled Yudhisthira who was in great perplexity. 
Drona Parva, Chapter 126, Verse 32). 

(39) Defeated Drona again. (Drona Parva, Chapter 
127, Verse 42). 

(40) Killed Kundabhedi, Susena, Dirghalocana, Vrnda- 
raka, Abhaya, Raudrakarma, Durvimocana, Vinda, 
Anuvinda, Suvarma and Sudarsana. (Drona Parva, 
Chapter 127, Verse 60). 

(41) Threw off Dronacarya along with his chariot eight 
times. (Drona Parva, Chapter 128, Verse 18). 

(42) Defeated Karna in fight. (Drona Parva, Chapter 

(43) Killed Dussala. (Drona Parva, Chapter 129). 

(44) Defeated Karna again. (Drona Parva, Chapter 

(45) Killed Durjaya, son of Dhrtarastra. (Drona Parva, 
Chapter 133, Verse 13). 

(46) Killed Durmukha, sou of Dhrtarastra. (Drona 
Parva, Chapter 134, Verse 20). 




(47) Killed Durmarsana, Dussaha, Durmada, Durdhara 
(Duradhara) and Jaya. (Drona Parva, Chapter 135, 
Verse 30). 

( 48) Defeated Kama again. (Drona Parva, Chapter 1 36, 
Verse 17). 

(49) Killed Citra, Upacitra, Citraksa, Carucitra, Sara- 
sana, Citrayudha and Citravarman. (Drona Parva, 
Chapter 136, Verse 20). 

(50)Kilkd Satrufijaya, Satrusaha, Citra (Citrabana) 
Citrayudha (Agrayudha) Drdha (Drdhavarman) Citra - 
sena (Ugrasena) and Vikarna. (Drona Parva, Chapter 
137, Verse 29). 

(51) Defeated Karna again. (Drona Parva, Chapter 1 39, 
Verse 9). 

( 52) Destroyed many bows of Karna. (Drona Parva, 
Chapter 139, Verse 19). 

(53) To capture Kama bereft of his arrows, Bhima jum- 
ped into his chariot. (Drona Parva, Chapter 139, 
Verse 74). 

(54) Bhima tumbled to the ground unconscious at the 
blows of Kama. (Drona Parva, Chapter 139, Verse 91). 

(55) Gave directions to Arjuna to kill Karna. (Drona 
Parva, Chapter 148, Verse 3). 

( 56) Killed the prince of Kalinga by thrashing and 
kicking him. (Drona Parva, Chapter 155, Verse 24). 
(57; Killed Jayarata, Dhruva, Durmada and Duskarna 
by pushing and beating them. (Drona Parva, Chapter 

( 58) Rendered the great hero Somadatta unconscious 
by thrashing him with his club. (Drona Parva, Chapter 
157, Verse 10). 

(59) Killed Balhika. (Drona Parva, Chapter 157, Verse 

( 60) Killed Nagadatta, Drdharatha (Drdhasvan) Maha- 
bahu, Ayobhuja ( Drdha (Drdhaksatra) 
Suhastha, Viraja, Pramathl, Ugra (Ugrasravas) and 
Anuyayi (Agrayayi). (Drona Parva, Chapter 157, 
Verse 16). 

(61) Killed Satacandra. (Drona Parva, Chapter 157, 
Verse 23). 

( 62) Killed Gavaksa, brother of Sakuni, as also Sarabha, 
Vibhu, Subhaga and Bhanudatta. (Drona Parva, Chap- 
ter 157, Verse 23). 

(63) Defeated Duryodhana again. (Drona Parva, Chap- 
ter 166, Verse 43). 

(64) Engaged himself in a fierce fight with Halayudha. 
(Drona Parva, Chapter 177). 

( 65; Got defeated in the fight with Kama. (Drona Parva, 
Chapter 188, Verse 10). 

(66 y Killed the elephant named Asvatthama and spread 
the false news that Asvatthama (son of Drona) was 
killed. (Drona Parva, Chapter 190, Verse 15)'. 

(67) Fought against narayanastra. (Drona Parva, Chap- 
ter 199, Verse 45). 

(68) In the fight with Asvatthama Bhima's charioteer 
was killed. (Drona Parva, Chapter 199, verse 45). 

( 69) Killed Ksemadhurti, the King of Kaluta. (Karna 
Parva, Chapter 12, Verse 25). 

( 70) Fought with Asvatthama and fell down unconscious 
by the blows dealt by him. (Karna Parva, Chapter 

(71) Killed Bhanusena, son of Karna. (Karna Parva, 
Chapter 48, Verse 27). 

(72) In the next fight killed Vivitsu, Vika^a, Sama, 
Kratha (Krathana) Nanda and Upananda. (Karna 
larva, Chapter 51, Verse 12). 

( 73) Defeated Duryodhana again. (Karna Parva, Chap- 
ter 61, Verse 53). 

( 74) Taking upon himself all the responsibilities of the 
war deputed Arjuna to guard Dharmaputra. (Karna 
parva, Chapter 65, verse 10). 

(75) Defeated Sakuni. (Karna Parva, Chapter 81, 
Verse 24). 

(76) Fought fiercely with Duryodhana. (Karna Parva, 
Chapter 82 and 83). 

(77) Killed Dussasana in accordance with his (Bhima's) 
old pledge and drank the blood from his (Dussasana's) 
chest. (Kama Parva, Chapter 83, Verse 28). 

( 78) Killed ten sons of Dhrtarastra, viz. Nisangi, Kavaci, 
Past, Dandadhara, Dhanurgraha, Alolupa, Sala, Sandha 
(Satyasandha) Vatavega and Suvarcas. (Karna Parva, 
Chapter 84, Verse 2). 

( 79) Next, single-handed Bhima killed 25000 infantry 
men. (Karna Parva, Chapter 93, Verse 28). 

( 80) Defeated Krtavarma (Salya 1'arva, Chapter 1 1 , 
Verse 45). 

(81) Did club-fight with Salya. (Salya Parva, Chapter 
12, Verse 12). 

(82) Defeated Duryodhana again. (Salya Parva, Chap- 
ter 16, Verse 42). 

( 83) Killed the charioteer and horses of Salya. (Salya 
1 arva, Chapter 17, Verse 27). 

(84) Killed another 25,000 infantry men, single-handed. 
(Salya Parva, Chapter 19, Verse 49). 

(85) Killed 1 1 sons of Dhrtaras(ra, viz. Durmarsana, 
Srutanta (Citranga) Jaitra, Bhuribala (Bhimabala) 
Ravi, Jayatsena, Sujata, Durvisaha (Durvisaha). Dur- 
vimocana, Duspradharsa (Duspradharsana) and Sru- 

(86) After that killed Sudar!ana, son of Dhrtarastra. 
(Salya Parva, Chapter 27, Verse 49). 

( 87) In the club fight that ensued between Duryodhana 
and Bhima, Duryodhana's thigh was broken by the 
blows with Bhima's club. (Salya Parva, Chapter 58, 
Verse 47). 

(88) Then Bhima kicked Duryodhana on the head. 
(Salya Parva, Chapter 59, Verse 4). 

( 89) Bhima rushed forward to get hold of Asvatthama, 
who was then sitting with Vyasa on the Gaiiga shore. 
Bhima challenged him. (Sauptika Parva, Chapter 13, 
Verse 16). 

( 90) Consoled by giving to her Asvatthama's 
gem. (Sauptika Parva, Chapter 16, Verse 26). 

(91) Bhima apologised to Gandhari. (Stri Parva, Chap- 
ter 15). 

(92) Bhima made Yudhisfhira to retract from his inten- 
tion to renounce the world and become a Sannyasin. 
(Santi Parva, Chapter 19). 

(93) Yudhis^hira installed Bhima, as crown prince. 
(Santi Parva, Chapter 41, Verse 9). 

( 94) Yudhisthira settled Bhima down in the palace of 
Duryodhana killed in war. (Santi Parva, Chapter 44, 
Verse 6). 

( 95) As directed by Vyasa, Nakula and Sahadeva were 
put in-charge of protecting the Kingdom. (Asvamedha 
i'arva, Chapter 72, Verse 19). 

( 96) It was Bhima who, along with the brahmins, 
measured ths yajaabhami, in connection with Yudhis- 



BH!MA ix 

thira's Asvamedhayajna. (Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 

88, Verse 6). 

( 97; During one of those days Babhruvahana visited 

Bhima, who sent the former back loaded with money 

and foodgrains. (Asvamedha Parva, Chapter 88, Verse 


( 98) It was Bhima who held the umbrella to Sri Krsna in 

the chariot on his way back from the company of the 

Pandavas to Dvaraka. (Asvamedha Parva, Southern 

Text, Chapter 92). 

( 99j Bhima opposed Dhrtarast,ra's demand for money to 

perform the rituals of those who had died in war. (Asra- 

mavasika Parva, Chapter 11, Verse 7). 

( 100) After Dhrtarastra, Kunti and Ga.ndha.ri retired into 

the forest Bhima visited them once. (Asramavasika 

Parva, Chapter 23). 

8) Bhima' 's conceit put down. While, after the great war, 
the Pandavas and Sri Krsna were discussing several 
matters all the Pandavas except Bhima said they owed 
their success in war to Krsna. But, Bhima, in all haughti- 
ness claimed the credit for victory to his personal prowess. 
With the object of putting down this conceit on the part 
of Bhima, Sri Krsna, with Bhima seated along with him 
on Garuda, set out on a journey to the south. After 
crossing the sea and Mount Subela Sri Krsna, pointing 
out to Bhima a lake twelve yojanas wide and lying 
near Lanka, asked him to find out the source of the lake 
and return with the information. Though Bhima walked 
some distance he could not find out its source. Not only 
that, all the warriors there jointly attacked Bhima, and 
finding himself impotent to counter the attack he ran 
back to Sri Krsna for refuge. Then Sri Krsna with his 
ring clipped and threw away the lake, and said to Bhima 
as follows : "This is the skull of Kumbhakarna killed 
by Sri Rama in the Rama-Ravana war. The warriors 
who attacked you are the asuras called 'Sarogeyas' ." 
These words of the lord put down Bhima's conceit, 
and he apologised to Krsna. (Skanda Purana, 1.2.66). 

9) Death. After entrusting matters of administration of 
the country to Pariksit the Pandavas set out on their 
great journey. Yudhisthira walking in the front, they 
started for Kailasa. During the course of their journey 
Pancali, Sahadeva, Nakula and Arjuna one after the 
other fell down dead. Bhima asked Yudhisthira the 
reason for the deaths and he was given suitable answers 
by the latter. At last when Bhima too was about to fall 
down and die he asked the reason thereof, and Yudhis- 
thira replied that Bhima's over-eating was the reason. 
Afterwards when Dharmaputra entered Heaven he 
found his brothers had already their seats there. (See 
Arjuna, Para 31). 

10) Other information. (1) Bhima had a son named 
Sutasoma by Pancali. (Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 

2 ) A son called Sarvaga was born to Bhima of Balan- 
dhara, daughter of the King of Kasl. (Adi Parva, 
Chapter 95, Verse 97). 

3) The following names are found used in the Maha- 
bharata as synonyms for Bhima. Acyutanuja, Anilat- 
maja, Arjunagraja, Arjunapurvaja, Vallava, Bhima- 
dhanva, Jaya, Kaunteya, Kaurava, Kusasardula, 
tltmaja, Maruti, Pandava, Partha, Pavanatmaja, Pra- 
bhanjanasuta, Raksasakantaka, Samtraaasuta, Vayu- 
putra, Vayusuta, Vrkodara. 

BHlMA II. The Mahabharata makes mention of another 

Bhima, son of King Pariksit and brother of Janamejaya. 
(Adi Parva, Chapter 3, Verse 1 ). It was this Bhima who, 
at the yajna conducted at Kuruksetra attacked, without 
reason, the son of Sarama, a dog of the Devas. 
BHlMA III. A Deva gaildharva delivered by Muni, 
the wife of Kasyapa prajapati. (Adi Parva, Chapter 
65, Verse 42). He took part in the birthday celebrations 
of Arjuna. (Adi parva, Chapter 122, Verse 55). 
BHlMA IV. Yet another Bhima, grandson of King 
Aviksit of the Lunar dynasty and son of Pariksit is 
mentioned in Chapters 94 and 95 of Adi Farva. His 
mother was Suyasa. He married Kumari, daughter of 
Kekaya Raja and they had a son called Pratisravas. 
BHlMAV. Father of Divodasa, king of Kasi. (Udyoga- 

parva, Chapter 117, Verse 1). 

BHlMAVI. A Sudra who attained Svarga as on his head 
fell water with which the feet of a brahmin were washed. 
The following story about him occurs on page 619 of 
the Padmapurana. 

In the dvapara yuga there lived a Sudra called Bhima, 
who engaged himself in the profession of Vaisyas. An 
outcaste from practices pertaining to Sudras he enjoyed 
life with a Vaisya woman. He was a terrible fellow, who 
had killed many brahmins, and also enjoyed the wives 
of many elderly people including his teachers. He was 
a robber as well. Once he went to a brahmin house, 
and with the object of robbing his wealth spoke to him 
in a pathetic tone as follows: -"Respected sire, you 
will please listen to my grievance. You appear to be kind- 
hearted. Please give me some rice, or else I will die this 
very moment." 

Brahmin: "Oh hungry guest ! There is no one here 
to cook food. I shall give you daily some rice, which 
you may cook yourself. I have neither father, mother, 
son, brothers, wife nor any other relatives. All of them 
are dead and gone. The unfortunate fellow that I am, 
I am staying here alone. No servants or others here." 
Bhima: "Oh revered brahmin ! I too am a lonely 
person. 1 shall live here for ever serving you. I am a 

These words of Bhima pleased the brahmin so much that 
he cooked some food quickly and served the Sudra with 
it. He stayed with the brahmin from that day onwards. 
His idea was to rob the brahmin of his wealth at some 
convenient time and get away. But, since he used to 
pour on his head everyday the water with which the 
brahmin's feet were washed he got redemption from all 
his sins. 

One night a thief got into the brahmin's room to steal his 

earnings. Seeing the thief Bhiina rushed at him to give 

him a good thrashing. But, the thief, in the twinkling 

of an eye, cut off Bhima's head and escaped from the 

scene. At once there came down the attendants of Lord 

Visnu to lead Bhima to Vaikuntha. A divine chariot 

drawn by Rajahamsas (swans) also came down. Bhima 

got into the chariot and reached the abode of Visnu. 

BHlMA VII. Father of Damayantl. (See Damayanti). 

BHlMA VIII. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. 

He was killed by Bhima, one of the Pandavas. (Bhlsma 

Parva, Chapter 64, Verse 86). 

BHlMAIX. Verse 17, Chapter 94 of Adi Parva, Mentions 
about one Bhima born to King Ilin of his wife Rathan- 
dhari. This Bhima had four brothers, viz., Dusyanta, 
Sura, Pravasu and Vasu. 


BHlMA X. One of the five attendants given to Subrah- 
manya by the Deva called Arhsa. Parigha, Vafa, 
Dahati and Dahana were the other four. (Salya Parva, 
Chapter 45, Verse 34). 

BHlMA XI. A king of ancient time. He sits in yama's 
assembly worshipping yama. There are hundred kings 
in yama's assembly, having the name Bhlma. (Sabha. 
Parva, Chapter 8, Verse 24). It is on account of the 
penance of the hundred Bhimas that the difficulties 
of people are lifted. (Vana Parva, Chapter 3, Verse 11). 
These one hundred persons were kings in ancient days. 
Owing to several adversities they left their kingdoms 
for the assembly of yama. (Santi Parva, Chapter 227, 
Verse 49). 

BHlMA XII. A yadava king, the father of Andhaka. 
This Bhlma was a contemporary of Sri Rama. He con- 
quered Madhurapuri founded by Satrughna after killing 
the Daitya called Madhu. 

BHlMA XIII. A friend of Havana, king of Lanka. It 
was on the top of Bhlma's house that Hanuman rested 
for the first time after arriving at Lank'i. (Valmiki 
Ramayana, Sundara Kanda, Canto 6). 

BHlMABALAI. (BHURIBALA). One of the hundred 
sons of Dhrtarasfra killed by Bhlma. (Salya Parva, 
Chapter 26, Verse 14). 

BHlMABALA II. One of the five Vinayakas born from 
the asura called Paflcajanya. These Vinayakas cause 
difficulties and obstructions to the yajnas of Devatas. 
(Vana Parva, Chapter 221, Verse 11). 

BHlMABHATA. A gandharva. The following story has 
reference to his past life. 

On the death of Srutadhara, king of Ekalavyanagara the 
younger of his two sons, Satyadhara drove out of the 
kingdom the elder brother, Siladhara. Thus ousted from 
his kingdom Siladhara did due penance and got from 
Siva the boon that Satyadhara be killed while he him- 
self be made a gandharva. Owing to the blessing of 
Siva Satyadhara died, and he was born again as Samara- 
bha(a, son of Ugrabha^a, King of Radhanagara, and 
Siladhara was born as Bhimabhata, brother of Samara- 
bhata. On the death of Ugrabhafa Bhlmabhata, after 
killing Samarabhata ascended the throne. And, on one of 
those days, he was transformed into a wild elephant as 
the result of the curse of a muni. But, he iremembered 
his previous existence, and, though turned into elephant 
could speak like men. Bhlmabhata became a gandharva 
because he received and treated well once a traveller 
and related to him his (Bhlmabhata's ) own story. 
(Kathasaritsagara SasamkavatMarhbaka). 

BHlMAjANU. A king in ancient India. He remained in 
the assembly of yama serving the latter. (Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 8, Verse 21). 

BHlMAKSA. A Raksasa, who used to attack the king- 
doms of Kasi and Kosala often. Finally the above kings 
jointly encountered him. He was killed by King Har- 
yaivan. (Brahmanda Purana). 

BHlMARATHA I. A king of the family of Visvamitra. 
His father was Ketuman and Divodasa his son. (Bhaga- 
vata, Navama Skandha). 

BHlMARATHA II. One of the hundred sons of Dhrta- 
rastra killed in the war by Bhima. (Bhlsma Parva, 
Chapter 64, Verse 36). 

BHlMARATHA III. A hero who fought on the Kaurava 
side. It was this Bhlmaratha who stood at the centre of 
the garuda vyuha (army formation in the form of the 



bird garuda, Kite) set up by Drona. (Drona Parva, 
Chapter 20, Verse 12). He killed S'alva, the Mleccha 
king and a supporter of the Pandavas. (Drona Parva, 
Chapter 25, Verse 26). When Yudhisthira was king at 
Indraprastha Bhlmaratha sat in Pandava assembly as a 
comrade of the Pandavas. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 4, 
Verse 26). 

BHlMARATHl (BHlMA). A river in the South extolled 
in the puranas. Sins of those who bathe in this river will 
vanish. On its shore is a sacred place called Pandhara- 
pura. (Vana Parva, Chapter 88, Bhisma Parva, Chap- 
ter 9). 

BHlMASARA. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtaras{ra. 
(Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 99). 

BHlMAVEGA. One of the hundred sons of Dhrtarastra. 
(Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 99). 

BHlRU. A son born to Manibhadra and his wife Punya- 

BHlSAlVA. Son of Baka. From the day his father was 
killed by Bhima Bhlsana was impatiently waiting for 
revenge. When the Pandavas began the Asvamedha 
yajna he obstructed it at a place near Ekacakra. Arjuna 
fought and killed him. (Jaimini Asvamedha Parva, 
Chapter 22). 


1) Genealogy. From Visnu were descended in the follow- 
ing order Brahma-Atri-Candra-Budha - Pururavas - 
Ayus - Nahusa - Yayati - Puru - Janamejaya - Pracinva- 
Pravira - Namasyu - Vltabhaya - Sundu - Bahuvidha - 
Samyati - Rahovadi - Raudrasva - Matinara - Santu- 
rodha-Dusyanta-Bharata-Suhotra-Suhota -Gala-Gardda 
-Suketu-Brhatksetra-Hasti - Ajamidha - Rksa - Samva- 
rana - Kuru- Jahnu-Suratha-Viduratha - Sarvabhauma- 
Jayatsena-Ravyaya-Bhavuka-Cakroddhata - Devatithi - 
Rksa - Bhima-Pratipa-Santanu-Bhlsma. 

2) Birth and Boyhood. Bhisma's name in his boyhood was 
Devavrata. He was the eighth son of Santanu, a king 
of the lunar dynasty and Gangadevl. This boy was the 
human embodiment of Dyau, one of the Astavasus. 
Santanu, his father was the re-birth of another king, 
Mahabhiseka. The story concerning this, as given in 
the Maha.bha.rata is as follows: 
King Mahabhiseka after his death, attained Visnuloka. 
Once he went to visit Brahma at Satyaloka. At that 
time Gangadevl was also present in Brahma's assembly. 
In that pious atmosphere, a gentle breeze began to blow 
and Gangadevl's clothes were slightly deranged. Just 
at that moment, Mahabhiseka took a stealthy glance at 
her and she also returned that glance. This was noted 
by Brahma who turned both of them into human beings 
by a curse. Gaiigadevi begged pardon and Brahma 
lifted the curse and blessed her that the Astavasus would 
come to the earth to be born as her sons and that after- 
wards she could come back to Heaven. After that 
Gangadevl was born as a mortal woman in the world 
under the name Ganga and she spent her days in the 
forests near the Ganga river valleys. 
In those days the ruler of the Lunar dynasty was a king 
named Pratipa. Having no children, he went to the 
bank of the river Ganga and performed tapas there. 
Gaiigadevi who was moving about in the forests near- 
by, saw the King deeply absorbed in his tapas. She 
approached him and sat on his right thigh. She wanted 
the King to be her husband. He explained to her that 
the right thigh is the proper seat of a daughter-in-law 




and so she would become his son's wife in due course. 
In course of time, Pratlpa had a son, Santanu, born 
to him. When Santanu grew up into a young man, one 
day he went for a hunt to the Ganga-valley and there he 
met Gaiigadevi. He fell in love with her at first sight 
and courted her. Garigadevi agreed to become his wife 
on condition that he should not say anything to displease 
her and if he violated that condition she would leave him. 
The king accepted the condition and they became man 
and wife. 

At about that time, the wife of Dyo, one of the Asta- 
vasus, happened to see the sacrificial cow of the sage 
Vasistha and wished to have it. She expressed her 
desire to her husband, Dyo. Dyo, with the other seven 
vasus went and took away by force, Vasistha's cow. 
Vasistha in his anger cursed the Astavasus to be born as 
mortals. They repented and begged pardon from 
Vasistha. The sage told them that all of them would 
be born as the sons of Gaiigadevi and all except Dyo, 
who actually stole the cow, would return to Heaven 
at the time of birth itself. As for Dyo, he would continue 
to live in the world for a long time, as an adventurous 

GarigadevI became pregnant and gave birth to her first 
child. She carried the child to the river Gariga and 
threw it into the river. Santanu who followed her up 
to the river bank, did not say anything against her, 
remembering his promise. 

Seven children were born to her and she threw all of them 
into the river in this way. When she gave birth to the 
eighth child, Santanu insisted that he would not allow 
her to throw away that child into the river. As he had 
violated the condition, the angry Gangadevi left the 
palace with her child. She named it Devavrata and 
brought him up in the forest. The sage Vasistha and 
Gangadevi taught him all branches of knowledge. 
Thirtytwo years later, the king went to the same forest 
for hunting. He saw a handsome boy stopping the 
flow of the river Ganga. Getting interested in the boy, 
the King approached him. But by that time he had 
disappeared. The King prayed to Gangadevi to give 
back the child. She appeared with the child and after 
handing over the child to him vanished. The king 
returned to the palace with the child. (M.B. Adi 
Parva, Chapters 95-100). 

3) The name Bhifma. Devavrata was anointed, as 
heir-apparent. One day King Santanu reached the 
forest near the Ganga river valley, for hunting. As he 
was hunting, absorbed in the beauty of the forest scenery, 
he felt the perfume of musk filling the air in the forest. 
He wondered from where it could come. He went on 
and on trying to find out the source of this smell until 
he reached the cottage of a fisherman. The fisherman 
had a daughter named Satyavati. It was from her that 
the fragrance of musk spread all around. 1 The king 
fell in love with her at first sight. He asked the fisherman 
to give the girl in marriage to him. But the brave fishc r- 

man did not yield to the king's demand immediately. 
He laid down several conditions, one of which was that 
Satyavatl's sons should succeed to the throne of Santanu. 
The king was in a fix. Devavrata was the eldest son and 
heir-apparent. To deny kingship to his sons would be 
highly improper. Unable to find a solution to this diffi- 
cult problem, the king returned to the palace, much 
depressed and gloomy. There he avoided all company 
and took to his bed, passing his time in sadness and 

When Devavrata knew about his father's condition, he 
called the Ministers and asked them about it. They 
told him everything in details. At once, without inform- 
ing even his father, Devavrata went to the fisherman's 
cottage on the bank of the river Ganga and begged for 
Satyavati on behalf of his father. The fisherman repeated 
his former condition. Devavrata agreed that Satya- 
vatT's son shall be given the right of Kingship. The 
fisherman pointed out that disputes were likely to arise 
between Devavrata's sons and Satyavatl's children regar- 
ding the right of succession to the throne. At once 
Devavrata stood up and made a solemn pledge that he 
would remain a bachelor for life. The fisherman gave 
Satyavati to Devavrata to be taken to the King. Deva- 
vrata took her to the palace and presented her to his 
father. The King, when he came to know of the part 
played by his son in the matter, rose from his bed and 
embraced Devavrata with tears of joy and gratitude. 
The gods showered flowers on the scene. Because he had 
taken such a solemn oath, it was declared that hence- 
forth he would be known by the name "BHlSMA". 
The loving father Santanu also gave him a boon that 
Bhlsma would die only when he wished. (M.B., Adi 
Parva, Chapter 100). 

4) Affairs of the Kingdom in crisis. Two sons named 
Vicitravlrya and Citrarigada were born to Satyavati by 
Santanu, who died shortly afterwards. As desired by 
Satyavati, Bhisma crowned the boy Citrarigada as king. 
Although Citrangada's reign was a prosperous one, it 
could not last long. Once a Gandharva named Citraii- 
gada attacked him at Kuruksetra and after a battle 
which lasted for three years, the Gandharva Citrarigada 
killed the King Citraiigada. It was Bhlsma who per- 
formed the funeral rites of the King Citrarigada. After 
that Vicitravlrya was crowned King. 
It was at that time that the Svayamvara of the three 
daughters of the King of Kasi, Arhba, Arhbika and 
Ambalika, was held. Bhisma thought that it would be 
good if Vicitravlrya married them. So Bhlsma attended 
that function. The presence of Bhlsma who was an old 
man, at the Svayariivara, frightened the girls. The other 
kings who were present, stopped him from entering 
the place, since he had taken an oath to remain a life- 
long bachelor. The old Bhlsma stood up and spoke at 
length about the eight different forms of marriage and 
after defeating several kings like Salva, he seized the 
three daughters of the King of Kasi and took them with 

i. Satvavati's original name was Kali. The fisherman got her from the stomach of a fish. (See the word Adrika). Since she 
had the smell of fish she got the name of "Matsyagandhi." She used to assist a fisherman in his work as a ferryman in the river Ganga. 
Once the sage Parasara happened to get into her boat and he fell deeply in love with her. The sage removed the smell offish from her and gave 
her the perfume of musk instead. By this mystic power he created a mist at noon and under its cover, he had a sexual union with her. A 
a result of it the child Krsna (Vyasa) was born. The child immediately left the mother to perform tapas in the forest after promising to 
return to her whenever she wished for his presence. Although she gave birth to a child, Parasara blessed that she would again remain a 
virgin. The whole episode remained a secret. As usual, Satyavati returned to the fisherman's cottage in the evening and continued to 
live with him. It is at this stage that Santanu was attracted by the perfume of musk and came to the cottage where he met Satyavati. 


him in his chariot to Hastinapura. Preparations were 
made for the marriage of Vicitravlrya with the three 
princesses. Then Amba approached Bhisma and told 
him that she had already dedicated her heart to the king 
of Salva. Bhisma generously allowed her to return home. 
(For the rest of Amba's story, see the word "Amba". 
Vicitravlrya married Ambika and Ambalika. He ruled 
over the country for seven years at the end of which he 
died of consumption. The dynasty faced a crisis, as 
there was no one to succeed him. Satyavati approached 
Bhisma with a suggestion to beget children by Vicitra- 
virya's wife. But Bhisma stood firmly on his solemn oath 
to continue as a life-long bachelor. (M.B. Adi Parva, 
Verse 100-104). 

5) Bhiyma's Wire Pulling. After that Satyavati sum- 
moned Vyasa to Hastin r .pura and sons were born 
to Ambika, Ambalika and their maid by him. Ambika 
gave birth to Dhrtarastra, Ambalika gave birth to 
Pandu and the maid gave birth to Vidura. They grew 
up and Dhrtarastra married Gandharl and Pandu 
married Kunti and Madrl. Duryodhana and his brothers 
were born to Dhrtarastra, while the Pandavas were 
born to Pandu. Pandu died at the Satasrnga vana and 
Madrl observed sati by jumping into his funeral pyre 
and burning herself alive. After that, the Kauravas 
and Pandavas who lived in the palace at Hastinapura, 
split up into two blocs. When the palace made of lac 
was destroyed by fire, the Pandavas went into the forest 
and came back to the country after their marriage with 
Pancall. They ruled over the country with Indraprastha 
as their capital. In the gambling contest between 
Dharmaputra and Duryodhana, the Pandavas lost their 
kingdom and everything and so they went to the forest 
again. They lived for twelve years in the forest and spent 
one year incognito in the palace of the King of Virata. 
At that time the Pandavas reappeared in the battle 
which took place as a result of the theft of King Virata's 
cows by the Kauravas. Duryodhana asserted that he 
would not give so much land to the Pandavas as to put 
a dot with a needle. With the failure of Sri Krsna's 
mediation, the Kauravas and Pandavas encamped on 
the opposite sides of the field of Kuruksetra, preparing 
for a grim battle. 

Bhisma was the chief protagonist in all these events 
relating to the Kauravas and Paridavas. At every stage 
in the story we see Bhlsma's influence. The main events 
in which this superman who used to give shelter to 
Kauravas and Pandavas alike, played a decisive role, 
are given below : 

(1) Bhisma sent a messenger to Subala, king of Gan- 
dhara, to ask for the hand of Gandharl, to be married to 
Dhrtarastra. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 109, Verse 

( 2) He went to the palace of Salya, king of Madra and 
secured Madrl to be married to Pandu. (M.B. Adi Parva, 
Chapter 112). 

(3) He brought about the marriage between Vidura and 
the daughter of Devaka. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 
113, Verse 2). 

(4) The Maharsis who were the inhabitants of Satasrnga 
told Bhisma about the birth of the Pandavas. (M.B. 
Adi Parva, Chapter 125, Verse 22). 

(5) Bhisma offered 'Jalanjali' (worship with holy water) 
to Pandu at his death. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 126, 
Verse 27). 

136 BHlSMA 

(6) He performed the death anniversary of Pandu. 
(M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 127, Verse 1). 

( 7) He engaged Dronacarya to teach archery to the 
princes. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 130, Verse 77). 

( 8) He burst into tears and wept bitterly on hearing that 
Pandavas were burnt to death in the palace of lac and 
was about to offer them 'Jalanjali'. Just then, Vidura 
came to him and secretly informed him that the Pandavas 
were not dead. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 149, Daksi- 
natya Patha ) . 

( 9) He advised Duryodhana to give half the kingdom to 
the Pandavas. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 202). 

(10) He had taken part in Dharmaputra's Rajasuya 
Yajna. Dharmaputra had entrusted to Bhisma, the 
arrangements for that yajna. (M.B. Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 35, Verse 6). 

(11) He advised Yudhisthira to give the highest place of 
honour in that yajna to Sri Krma. (M.B. Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 36, Verse 28). 

(12) Bhisma ridiculed Sisupala (Sabha Farva, Chapter 

(13)Sisupala insulted Bhisma. (Sabha Farva, Chapter 

(14) Bhisma stopped Bhlma who rushed out to kill 
Sisupala. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 42, Verse 13). 

( 15) It was Bhisma who narrated the life story of SiSu- 
pala. (Sabha larva, Chapter 43). 

(16) In the battle against Sisupala, Bhisma selected 
powerful Kings to help Sri Krsna. (Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 44, Verse 41). 

( 1 7) Once Bhisma asked the sage Pulastya about the 
value and importance of pilgrimage. (Vana larva, 
Chapter 82, Verse 4). 

(18) Bhisma advised Duryodhana to be on friendly 
terms with the Pandavas. (Vana Parva, Chapter 253, 
Verse 4). 

( 19) In the battle which was fought by Kauravas against 
King Virata, Bhisma arranged the regiments in order, 
after sending Duryodhana to Hastinupura. (Virata 
Parva, Chapter 52, Verse 16). 

( 20) A grim fight took place between Arjuna who went 
to help the Virata army and Bhisma. At last, it was the 
charioteer who removed Bhisma, (who had fallen down 
unconscious) from the battlefield. (Virata Parva, 
Chapter 64). 

(21) When the Kauravas were contemplating to fight 
against the Pandavas who had returned after their 
incognito life, Bhisma ridiculed Karna and praised 
Arjuna. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 21, Verse 16). 

(22) At that time, he explained to Duryodhana, the 
greatness of Sri Krsna and Arjuna. (Udyoga Parva, 
Chapter 49, verse 2). 

( 23) Duryodhana proposed to bind the hands and feet 
of Sri Krsna who was expected to come as the envoy of 
the Pandavas. Hearing this, Bhisma in great anger, 
walked out of the council hall. (Udyoga Farva, Chap- 
ter 88, Verse 19). 

( 24) Bhisma strongly advised Duryodhana to make a 
treaty of peace with the Pandavas. (Udyoga Parva, 
Chapter 125, Verse 2). 

( 25) He declared that he would not kill the Pandavas 
but would kill 10,000 soldiers of the Pandavas everyday. 
Udyoga Farva, Chapter 156, Verse 21). 




(26) As desired by Duryodhana, Bhisma declared the 
Rathis and Maharathis who belonged to the Kaurava 
side. (Udyoga Parva, Chapters 165-168). 

( 27) Bhlsma described all the MaharathTs of the Pandava 
side to Duryodhana. (Udyoga Parva, Chapters 169- 

(28) Bhlsma told Duryodhana that Sikhandl and the 
Pandavas should not be killed. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 
172,' Verse 20). 

( 29) Bhisma offered pQja to Parasurama. (Udyoga Parva, 
Chapter 123, Verse 27). 

( 30) Arhba who was allowed by Bhisma to marry her 
lover, King Salva, was rejected by him and returned 
to Bhlsma again. But he did not accept her. Although 
Parasurama pleaded with him on behalf of Arhba, 
Bhisma did not marry her. (Udyoga Parva, Chapter 
178, Verse 32). 

(31) In connection with Amba's case, a duel was fought 
on the field of Kuruksetra between Bhisma and Parasu- 
rama. Bhisma started the duel after asking for the 
permission of Parasurama. Pleased with the fight, the 
Vasus presented to Bhlsma, the Prasvapana arrow. But 
he did not use that arrow against Parasurama, since 
the gods and Narada prevented him from doing so. 
At the request of the gods, pitrs and Gangadevi, Bhisma 
stopped the fight and prostrated at the feet of Parasu- 
rama. (Udyoga Parva, Chapters 178-185). 

( 32) Bhisma narrated to Duryodhana the story of Amba 
who was re-born as Sikhandi. (Udyoga parva, Chapters 

( 33) Bhisma himself told Duryodhana that he had the 
strength to annihilate all the Pandavas. (Udyoga Parva, 
Chapter 193, Verse 14). 

( 34) Before the beginning of the battle, Yudhisthira 
went to Bhisma and asked for his permission to start it. 
Bhlsma granted him permission and blessed him. 
(Bhisma Parva, Chapter 43, Verse 44). 

6) Bhifma in Bhdrata Tuddha. 

( 1) On the first day of the battle a duel took place bet- 
ween Bhisma and Arjuna. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 45, 
Verse 8)! 

(2) In the battle Bhisma killed Sveta, the son of king 
Vira{a. (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 48, Verse 3). 

( 3) There was again a terrible fight with Arjuna. (Bhisma 
Parva, Chapter 52). 

(4) Satyaki killed Bhisma's charioteer. (Bhisma Parva, 
Chapter 64, Verse 114). 

(5) Seeing that the army of the Kauravas was being 
scattered in all directions by the violent strokes of Arjuna 
Bhisma ordered to stop the second day's battle. (Bhisma 
Parva, Chapter 55, Verse 42). 

(6) Bhlsma challenged Srikrsna for the fight. (Bhisma 
Parva, Chapter 59, Verse 96j . 

(7) Fought again with Arjuna. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 
60, Verse 25). 

( 8) Bhisma gave orders to Dronacarya and Duryodhana 
to save Bhagadatta who fell in danger. (Bhisma Farva, 
Chapter 64, verse 64). 

(9) Bhisma told Duryodhana that Arjuna and Krsna 
were trie incarnations of Nara and Narayana. (Bhisma 
Parva, Chapters 65-68). 

(10) Bhisma praised the greatness of Brahmaputa 
Stotra. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 68, Verse 2). 

(11) Seeing Sikhandi rushing forward to oppose him, 

Bhisma put an end to the battle. (Bhisma Parva, Chap- 
ter 69, Verse 29). 

(12) A terrible fight took place between Bhisma and 
Bhimasena. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 70). 

(13) There was again a fight with Arjuna. (Bhisma 
Parva, Chapter 71). 

( 14) Bhisma wounded Bhimasena and defeated Satyaki. 
(Bhisma Parva, Chapter 71, Verse 21). 

(15) Bhisma wounded King Virata. (Bhisma Parva, 
Chapter 73, Verse 2). 

( 16) Duryodhana who was frightened by Bhimasena's 
deeds of valour, was encouraged by Bhisma. (Bhisma 
Parva, Chapter 80, Verse 8). 

( 17) He deprived Dharmaputra of his chariot. (Bhisma 
parva, Chapter 86, Verse 11). 

(18 1 When Bhimasena killed Bhisma's charioteer, the 
horses turned round and ran away, dragging the chariot 
with them. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 88, Verse 12). 

(19) He ordered Bhagadatta to fight with Ghatotkaca. 
(Bhisma Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 17). 

(20) He swore that all except Sikhandi would be killed. 
(Bhisma Parva, Chapter 98, Verse 4). 

(21) Satyaki and Bhisma fought again. ( Bhisma Parva, 
Chapter 104, Verse 29). 

(22) Bhisma killed 14,000 Maharathis who belonged to 
the Cedi, Kasi and Karusa countries. (Bhisma Parva, 
Chapter 106, Verse 18). 

(23) Bhisma explained to Dharmaputra, the method by 
which he (Bhisma) could be killed. (Bhisma parva, 
Chapter 107, verse 76). 

(24) He declared that he would not fight with Sikhandi, 
who was neither man nor woman. (Bhisma Parva, 
Chapter 108, Verse 43). 

(25) He allowed Yudhisthira to launch an attack on 
himself (Bhisma). (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 115, Verse 

(26) Bhisma, shot by Arjuna's arrow, fell down uncons- 
cious. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 1 17, Verse 64). 

(27) Bhisma who recovered and rose again, killed 
Satanika, brother of King Virata. (Bhisma Parva, 
Chapter 118, Verse 27). 

(28) Bhisma routed the Pandava army most disastrously. 
(Bhisma' Parva, Chapters 118, 119). 

(29) He considered the misery of life and the sweetness 
of death. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 119, Verse 34). 

(30) Bhisma who was wounded by Arjuna's arrows, 
described to Dussasana, the heroism of Arjuna. (Bhisma 
Parva, Chapter 119, Verse 56). 

(31) Arjuna shot his arrow at Bhisma and made him fall 
down from his chariot. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 119, 
Verse 87). 

(32) He told Hariisa that he would remain alive until the 
sun came to Uttarayana. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 119, 
Verse 104). 

(33) Bhisma who fell and lay on a bed of arrows begged 
for a pillow to the Kings. (Bhisma Parva, Chapter 120, 
Verse 34). 

( 34) When he found that they were not paying any heed 
to his entreaties, he asked for a pillow to Arjuna. (Bhisma 
Parva, Chapter, 120, Verse 28). 

(35) He exhorted the Kings to put an end to the battle. 
(Bhisma Parva, Chapter 120, Verse 51 ). 

( 36) Bhisma begged for water to Arjuna. (Bhisma Parva, 
Chapter 121, Verse 18). 


( 3 7) He advised Duryodhana to end the battle. (Bhlsma 

Parva, Chapter 121, Verse 38). 

(38) As Kama wished for 'Virasvarga' (Heaven for the 

valiant) Bhlsma permitted him to fight. (Bhlsma Parva, 

Chapter 122, verse 34). 

(39;Vyasa sent Dharmaputra to Bhlsma to learn the 

mysteries of "Dharma" from Bhlsma before his (Bhis- 

ma's) death. (Santi Parva, Chapter 37, Verse 5). 

(40) Bhlsma said that Sri Krsna was more competent 
to give advice on "Dharma" than himself. (Santi 
Parva, Chapter 52, Verse 2). 

(41) When the frightened and ashamed Yudhisthira 
approached him, Bhlsma cheered him up. (Santi Parva, 
Chapter 14, Verse 19). 

(42) Bhlsma explained to Yudhisthira, with the help 
of various examples and illustrations, "Rajya Dharma", 
"Apaddharma", and "Moksa Dharma". (Santi Parva, 
Chapter 56, to Anusasana Parva, Chapter 1 65 ) . 

(43) After giving his advice to Yudhisthira Bhlsma gave 
him permission to enter Hastinapura. (Anusasana Parva, 
Chapter 166, verse 50). 

( 44) He gave advice to Dhrtarastra regarding his duties 
and responsibilities. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 167, 
Verse 30). 

( 45) He asked for Sri Krsna's permission to renounce his 
body. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 167, Verse 37). 

(46) With Sri Krsna's permission, Bhlsma renounced 
his body. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 168, Verse 2). 

(47) The Kauravas performed the funeral rites and Jalaft- 
jali (purification by sprinkling water) of Bhlsma (Anu- 
sasana Parva, Chapter 168, Verse 10). 

( 48) Gangadevi lamented that Sikhandl, who was neither 
man nor woman, killed Bhlsma. (Anusasana Parva, 
168, Verse 21). 

(49)Vyasa and Sri Krsna told Gangadevi that Bhlsma 
died by Arjuna's arrow. (Anusasana Parva, Chapter 
168, Verse 30). 

( 50) On a later occasion Vyasa invoked into the river 
Ganga, those who died in the battle and among them 
Bhlsma was also present. (Asramavasika Parva, Chap- 
ter 32, verse 7). 

(51) After his death, Bhlsma remained in Heaven as 
Dyau, one of the Asfavasus. (Svargarohana Parva, 
Chapter 5, Verse 11). 

Other names of Bhifma. Apageya, Apagasuta, Bhagl- 
rathiputra, Bharata, Pitamaha, Bharatarsabha, Bhara- 
tasattama, Bhismaka, Siintanava, Santanuputra, Santa- 
nusuta, Santanuja, Devavrata, Garigasuta, Garigeya, 
Jahnavlputra, Kaurava, Kauravanandana, Kauravya, 
Kuru-^arddula, Kurusrestha, Kurudvaha, Kurukula- 
sresfha, Kurukulodvaha, Kurumukhya, Kurunandana, 
Kurupati, Nadya, Prapitamaha, Sagaragasuta, Satya- 
sandha, Taladhvaja, Vasu are other names of Bhlsma 
used in the Mahabharata. 

BHlSMAKA. King of Vidarbha and born in the Bhoja 
dynasty, Bhismaka was the father of Rukmini, the wife 
of Sri Krsna. He had five sons. A friend of Bhisma, 
he conquered and ruled over a fourth of the world. 
He defeated the Krathas, Pandyas and Kaisikas. He 
was very much devoted to Jarasandha. (Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 14, Verse 21). Sahadeva, who was on a trium- 
phal tour in connection with the Pandava's asvamedha 
yajfia fought and defeated Bhismaka at Bhojakatanagara. 
Bhismaka was also called Hiranyaroma. (Sabha Parva, 


Chapter 31, Udyoga Parva, Chapter 158, Santi Parva, 
Chapter 4). 

BHlSMA PARVA. A sub parva in the Mahabharata. 

of Anusasana Parva. Chapters 167 and 168 of Anusa- 
sana Parva are included in this. 

BHISMAVADHA PARVA. A sub Parva of Bhlsma Parva. 
It comprises Chapters 43-122 of the Bhlsma Parva. 

BHOH. A term used for greeting elders. When saluting 
an elderly person, the term "Bhoh" is used as a suffix to 
his name. 
For example: 

"Somasarma nama aham asmi bhoh" 
Bhoh Sabdam kirtayedante 
Svasya namnabhivadanc / 
Namnaiii svarupa bhavo hi 
bhobhavo rsibhih smrtah // 

(Manusmrti, Chapter 2, verse 124) 

BHOGAVAN. A mountain Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 30, Verse 12 says that in the course of his trium- 
phant over-running of the eastern lands, Bhlmasena 
conquered this mountain also. 

BHOGAVATl I. Nagaloka or Patala. When Sugrlva 
sent monkeys in all directions in search of Sita, he gave 
instructions to them to go and search for her in Bhoga- 
vatlpura. Valmiki Ramayana, 41st Sarga, Kiskindha- 
kanda describes the place as the city infested with ser- 
pents (nagas) and guarded by them. Vasuki, King of 
serpents, lives there. 

BHOGAVATl II. Ganga of Patala. (M. B. Sabha Parva, 
Daksinatya Patha, Chapter 38). 

BHOGAVATl III. A place of holy bath at Prayaga. 
It is better known as Vasuki tlrtha. Mahabharata Vana 
Parva, Chapter 85 says that a bath at this tlrtha is as 
efficacious as an Asvamedha yajfia. 

BHOGAVATl IV. Another name for the river Sarasvati. 
(M. B. Vana Parva, Chapter 24, Verse 20). 

BHOGAVATl V. A female attendant of Subrahmanya. 
(M.B. Salya Parva, Chapter 46, Verse 8). 

BHOJA I. A king of the ancient country named Martti 
kavata. In Mahabharata Adi Parva, Chapter 185, 
Verse 6, we see that this king had attended the Svayaih- 
vara of Draupadl. He was slain by Abhimanyu at the 
battle of Kuruksetra. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 
48, Verse 8). 

BHOJA II. A king of Yaduvams'a. Mahabharata, Santi 
Parva, Chapter 166, Verse 79 says, that he died under 
the stroke of the sword of Maharaja Usinara. Bhoja- 
vamsa takes its source from this king. 

BHOJA III. A king who became renowned as a Sanskrit 
scholar. It is believed that he lived from 1018 to 1054 
A.D. His capital city was Dhara. Bhoja is credited 
with the authorship of two scholarly books entitled, 
"Sarasvatlkanthabharana" and "Snigaraprakasa". 
Of these, the first is a compendious volume in five chap- 
ters, dealing with the merits and defects of poetry, 
figures of speech, -etc. Bhoja observes that besides the 
four styles (in poetry) laid down by Rudraka, there are 
two more styles, namely, "Avanti" and "Magadhi". 

BHOJA IV. A follower of Sudas. In Rgveda, 3rd Man- 
dala, 58th Anuvaka, 7th Sukta we find that this Bhoja 
had given help to sage Visvamitra in performing his 
Asvamedha yaga. 

BHOJA V. A king of Kanyakubja. Once this king Bhoja 
met a woman with a fantastic shape. Her body was of 




human shape while her face was that of a female deer. 
When the king asked her about her strange shape, she 
related her past history as follows: "In my previous 
birth, I was a female deer. On one occasion the whole 
of my body except my face, was plunged in a river and 
those parts of the body under the water were transformed 
into human shape. From that day, I have been changed 
into this form." 

On hearing her story, the king took her to the holy river 
and immersed her again in it. She was at once trans- 
formed into an actual woman and the king married her. 
(Skanda Purana, 7-2-2). 

BHOJA. An exquisitely beautiful virgin of the country, 
Sauvira. Mahabharata Drona Parva, Chapter 10, 
Verse 33 says that Satyaki abducted her and made her 
his wife. 

BHOJA (M). (BHOJAVAMSA). This is a branch of 
Yaduvainsa. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 217, Verse 18). 

BHOJAKATA. The capital of Vidarbha. Once Saha- 
deva, one of the Pandavas conquered this city. It was 
at this place that Sri Krsna defeated Rukmi, the brother 
of RukminI at the time of Rukmini's Svayamvara. The 
original name of Bhojakata was "Kundinapura". 
(M.B. Sabha Parva, Chapter 31 and Ud yoga Parva, 
Chapter 158). 

BHOJIKA. A Brahmana. (See the word Pataliputra ) . 

BHOJYA. A Bhoja princess. She was abducted by 
Jyamagha of the Yadava family and married to his son, 
Vidarbha. (See Jyamagha). 

BHOSA. A word meaning a comic, stupid or eccentric 
person. Bhosas are of eight kinds. Those who feel 
derided, those who babble, those who are obstinate, 
sophists, those who indulge in hollow laughter, those 
who pretend to be blind, those who pretend to be deaf, 
and those who try to assert their self-importance these 
are the eight classes of "Bhosas". 

BHRAMARA. A prince of the land of Sauvira. He was 
a comrade of Jayadratha. M.B. Vana Parva, Chapter 
265 describes how Bhramara walked behind the chariot 
of Jayadratha with banner in his hand, when the latter 
abducted Pancali. Bhramara was killed by Arjuna. 

BHRAMARl. A RaksasI who was the follower of Jarii- 
bhasura. As directed by Jarhbhasura, she took birth in 
the house of Kasyapa to kill Ganesa. One day she 
treacherously gave poisoned sweets to Ganesa. Ganesa 
detected her treachery and fisted her to death. (Ganesa 

BHRASAKARISA. A Raksasa. He was the son of 
KetumatI, by the Raksasa, Sumall. They had ten sons 
Prahasta, Akampana, Vikata, Kalakamukha, Dhumra- 
ksa,_ Danda, Suparsva, Sarhhrada, Prakvata, and 
Bhrasakarna and four daughters Veka, Puspotkafa, 
Kaikasi and Kurhbhinasl. (Uttara Ramayana). 


1 ) General. A sage, the son of Brahma. He was the 
founder of Bhrgu vaihsa. Members of the Bhrgu varhsa 
are called 'Bhargavas.' Bhrguvarhsa has been reputed 
for many of its members who were Rsis of great sanctity 
and grandeur. 

2) Birth. 

"Utsamgad Narado jajiie 
Dakso 'mgusthru svayambhuvah / 
Pranadvasisthah saayato 
Bhrgustvacah karatkratuh". 1 // 

From these lines we see that Bhrgu was born from 
Brahma's skin (tvak). But in M.B. Adi Parva, 5th 
Chapter, we find another version regarding his birth. 
In that passage we read that Bhrgu was born from 
"Vahni" (fire). In the light of these two statements, we 
may examine Bhrgu's birth. 

Bhrgu had two incarnations . The first time he was born 
from Brahma's skin. In course of time, the sage Bhrgu 
became famous. In the Daksayaga, this sage was pre- 
sent as one of the Rtviks (officiating priests). On that 
occasion, Satldevi who was in rage and grief because 
her husband (Siva) was not invited to the yaga, commit- 
ted suicide by jumping into the sacrificial fire. Hearing 
about this, Siva was enraged and the monster spirits who 
emerged from his matted locks caught hold of the 
Rtviks. Bhagavata caturtha skandha says that the Bhuta 
named Nandisvara, who emerged from Siva's locks, 
caught hold of Bhrgu and killed him. 
Therefore the Bhrgu who was born from Brahma's 
skin must be considered as having died at Daksayaga. 
Bhrgu was born again in Vaivasvata Manvantara. 
This second birth was at the famous Brahmayajna 
of Varuna. Hie was reborn from fire, as Brahma's son. 
This child who was born from Brahma's semen which 
fell in the sacrificial fire, was brought up by Varuna 
and his wife Carsani. Consequently Bhrgu is referred 
to as "Varunaputra" and "Carsanlputra" in some 
Puranas. Since he was born at Varuna's yaga he is 
sometimes called "VarunI Bhrgu". 

3) Bhrgu VarhSa. (Bhrgu family ) . Each birth of Bhrgu 
gave rise to a separate family. They are given below 
separately: First birth: Bhrgu and his wife Khyati 
had a daughter Laksmi and three sons, Dhata, Vidhata 
and Kavi. Mahameru's daughters, Ayati and Niyati 
became the wives of Dhata and Vidhata, respectively. 
Two sons, Prana and Mrkandu were born to those two 
couples. Markandeya was born to Mrkandu and from 
Markandeya was born Vedasiras. Prana had a son, 
Dyutiman who had a son Rajavan. From that Rajavan, 
Bhrgu Varhsa multiplied. The family tree of this first 
Bhrgu Varhsa is given below: (See Visnu purana, 
Part I, Chapter 10). 


Bhrgu Khyati 

Dhata = Ayati Vidhata = Niyati Kavi Laksmi = Visnu 
Prana Mrkandu 






Second Birth: The second Bhrgu Varhsa is the family 
which took its origin from the second birth of Bhrgu 
as the son of Varuna. Varuna's son, Bhrgu married 
the woman, Puloma. They had six children who were, 
Bhuta, Cyavana, Vajraslrsa, Suci, Sukra, and Savana. 
By his first wife Bhuta, he had his sons, "Ekadasa 
Rudras" (eleven Rudras) and "Rudra Parsadas" 

!*Narada was born from Brahma's lap, Daksa from his Amgustha, Vasisjha from his Praija, Bhrgu from his skin and Kratu from his arm. 




(Attendants of Rudra) and by his second wife Sarupa 
he had a crore of Rudras. Cyavana had two wives, 
Sukanya and Arusi. Aurva, a son was born to Arusi. 
From Aurva was born Rclka, from Rclka Jamadagni 
and from Jamadagni, Parasurama. Cyavana had a 
son, Pravati, by his wife Sukanya. Ruru or Sunaka was 
the son of Pravati by the Apsara Ghrtaci. Ruru 
and his wife Pramadvara had a son, Saunaka. Suka, 
the son of Bhrgu had two sons, Canda and Alarka and 
a daughter, Devayanl. This is the second Bhrgu Vamsa. 1 
The family tree is given below. 

Varuna = 

Bhrgu set out to Devaloka. First he went to Brahma's 
assembly. There, in the presence of Brahma who was 
seated in the midst of many Munis, Bhrgu took his seat 
on a stool. Brahma was provoked by this act of disres- 
pect. Bhrgu left the place without a word and went to 
Siva's place. Siva rose from his seat and approached 
him to embrace and welcome him. Bhrgu, shrank back 
saying, "Do not touch me ?" Siva became angry and 
was about to hit him with his trident when Parvati 
stopped him. 
Bhrgu then turned his steps to Vaikuntha, the abode of 


Varuni Bhrgu Puloma 

Bhuta = Bhuta = Sarupa 



Sukanya Cyavana Arusi 

Ghrtaci Pravati 

Pramadvara = Ruru 



4) Bhrgu cursed Mahdvifnu. Once a terrible war broke 
out between Devas and Asuras. In that war, not only 
were the Asuras defeated but many of them were also 
killed. Dili, the mother of the Asuras, with tears in her 
eyes, complained to Bhrgupati. Puloma, Mother of 
Sukra, promised to find a remedy for this somehow. 
She at once went to the forest and started a tapas for 
the annihilation of the Devas. As the tapas gained 
force, the Devas were alarmed and they sought the 
protection of Mahavisnu. Mahavisnu used his 
Vajrayudha (Vajra weapon) against Bhrgu's wife, 
Puloma. Under the stroke of Vajra she fell down, a 
headless corpse. The enraged Maharsi Bhrgu cursed 
Mahavisnu to be born as a mortal in this world and to 
suffer the pangs of separation from his wife. When the 
curse was pronounced against Mahavisnu, he directed 
his weapon Cakra against the Maharsi. Bhrgu fled in 
panic and at last begged pardon and prayed for shelter 
to Mahavisnu himself in the ocean of milk. Visnu 
withdrew his Cakra. Bhrgu himself restored Puloma 
to life. To fulfil the condition of Bhrgu's curse, Visnu 
agreed to incarnate in the world as Sri Rama, the son 
of Das"aratha and to experience the pain of separation 
from his wife. (Uttara Ramayana). 

5) Bhrgu kicked Vifnu. Long ago all the Maharsis 
joined together to perform a yaga on the bank of the 
river Sarasvatl. A dispute arose among them as to who 
was the most mighty among the Trimurtis. Some of 
them voted for Brahma, others declared that Visnu 
was more mighty than the other two, while a third 
group stood for Siva's superiority. They unanimously 
elected Bhrgu to ascertain and find out the truth of 
the matter. 

Vajrasirsa Suci Sukra Savana. 

Canda Alarka Devayanl 


Mahavisnu. There he saw Mahavisnu in a deep 
slumber. Seeing Mahavisnu whose task is the pre- 
servation of the world, sleeping like an irresponsible 
person, Bhrgu gave him a kick on his breast. Visnu 
who sprang up suddenly, saw Bhrgu standing before 
him. He begged pardon of the sage. He declared that 
he would carry Bhrgu's footprint permanently on his 
chest as a sign of his repentance for having shown dis- 
respect to the Maharsi. This foot-print still remains 
on Visnu's chest and is known by the name "Srlvatsa". 
In this way, the Munis came to the conclusion that 
Mahavisnu is the noblest of the Trimurtis. (Bhagavata, 
Dasama Skandha). 

6) The origin of Bhrgu Tirtha. There is a sacred spot 
called, "Bhrgu Tirtha" on the western side of Dasasva- 
medha. It is here that Bhrgu once offered tapas to Siva. 
Owing to the austerity of his tapas, his hair became 
matted and discoloured. His body was completely 
covered with earth heaped up by termites. When Siva 
was still not propitiated, ParvatI interceded with him 
on behalf of Bhrgu, Siva agreed to bless Bhrgu. 

Siva sent his bull to the place where Bhrgu was sitting. 
The bull in the course of its gambols broke up and des- 
troyed the earthen covering on his body which was 
made by the termites. Bhrgu became angry and chased 
the bull. But he was stunned by the sight of the bull 
rising up to heaven through the air. A divine light 
spread there. Siva appeared before him and asked him 
what boon he wanted. Bhrgu prayed that the place 
where he was doing tapas should become a holy spot. 
Siva granted his prayer and from that day, the place 
became famous under the name "Bhrgu Tirtha". 

i . Devi Bhagavata, Saptama Skandha says that Bhrgu had married two daughters of Daksa. Mahabharata Anusasana Parva 
Chapter 83, Verse 127 says that Bhrgu had seven sons, namely Cyavana Vajras'ila, Suci, Aurva, Sukra, Varenya, and Savana. 



Brahma and other Devas and the Kinnaras still worship 
this Bhrgu Tirtha. All sin is removed by a mere sight 
of this sacred Tirtha. Those who bathe in the holy 
water of this place attain Heaven and they will not be 
born again. Even by hearing about the greatness and 
glory of this Bhrgu Tirtha, one will be cleared of all 
sins and find an easy way to Sivaloka. (Padma Purana, 
Chapter 20). 

7) Other details. (1 ) It was Bhrgu who gave the boon 
for having progeny to Sagara, King of the solar dynasty. 
Sagara, with his two wives, Kesini and Sumati, per- 
formed tapas at Bhrgu prasravana in the Himalayas. 
After a hundred years, Bhrgu, who was pleased, blessed 
the king that he would have numerous children by one 
wife and one son who would be progenitor of a varh-Ja, 
by the other wife. (Valmiki Ramayana, Balakanda, 
38th Sarga). 

(2) Once when some Munis went to Dvaraka, Samba 
and other Yadavas mocked them and the Munis cursed 
them. Bhrgu was one of those Munis. (See the word 
Samba ) . 

(3) Parasurama, after exterminating the Ksatriya kings, 
went to the Asrama of Bhrgu, the founder of the family 
and received his blessings. (Brahmanda Purana, Chap- 
ter 62). 

(4) Bhrgu Maharsi was a prominent member in Yudhis- 
thira's assembly. (M.B. Chapter 4, Verse 16). 

(5) He was also a member of Indra's assembly. It was 
by Bhrgu's brilliance that Indra's glory was heightened. 
(M.B.' Sabha Parva, Chapter 7, Verse 29). 

( 6) Bhrgu was a member of Brahma's assembly also. 
(M.B.' Sabha Parva, Chapter 11, Verse 19). 

( 7) Once Bhrgu blessed his son Rcika and his daughter- 
in-law Satyavati that they would have children. (M.B. 
Vana Parva, Chapter 116, Verse 35). 

( 8) Sri Krsna who went as the messenger of peace to 
Hastinapura, travelled in Daksinavarta, along with the 
sage Bhrgu. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 83, Verse 

(9) Bhrgu entered the scene of battle between the Kurus 
and Pandavas and tried to persuade Dronacarya to 
withdraw from the fight. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 
190, Verse 34). 

(10) Once Bhrgu lectured on the origin of the earth, 
Philosophy of life, etc. (M.B. Sand Parva, Chapter 

(11) Bhrgu explained to Bharadvaja how the Panca- 
bhutas except the sky originated (Santi Parva, Chapter 

( 12) Bhrgu discussed in a logical manner, the principle 
of life and the transmigration of the soul. (Santiparva, 
Chapter 187). 

(13) He made a critical examination of the merits and 
defects of racial discrimination. (Sand Parva, Chapter 

( 14j Once Bhrgu bestowed Brahminhood on a King 
named Vitahavya. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 
30, Verse 57). 

(15; He got the name "Bhrgu" because he was born out 
of fire. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 85, Verse 105). 
(16) It was Bhrgu who gave the necessary advice to 
Agastya to depose Nahusa from Indra's post. 


(17) There is a story that Nahusa kicked Agastya on the 
head while the latter was carrying Nahusa's palanquin 
and that Bhrgu, who was hiding in Agastya's locks of 
hair, cursed Nahusa and changed him into a python. 
(M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 100). 
BHRGUTlRTHA. A place made sacred by the perfor- 
mance of tapas by Bhrgu. (For more details see the 
6th para under Bhrgu). 

BHRGUTUNGA. A peak on which the sage Bhrgu 
performed tapas. Rcika had lived there with his wife 
and children. (Valmiki Ramayana, Balakanda, 61st 

BHRNGI. A Maharsi who was a devotee of Siva. Once 
he went to Kailasa and began to go round Siva to pay 
homage to him. But since Parvati and Siva were sitting 
together as one body, he could not go round Siva sepa- 
rately. He did not have much reverence for Parvati. 
So he took the form of a female beetle (Bhrngi ) and 
bored his way through a hole made in the place where 
their bodies were united and thus went round Siva alone. 
Parvati was angry at this slight shown to her and cursed 
him to become physically weak. His legs became so 
weak that they were unable to support his body. So 
he prayed to Siva again and he blessed him with a third 
leg. In this way Bhrngi became a Maharsi with three 
legs. (Maharsis). 

BHRSUNDI. A fisherman. He used to earn his living 
by theft. 

Once when the Maharsi Mudgala was passing through 
a forest , Bhrsundi stopped him. But in the presence of 
the Brahmanic effulgence of the Maharsi, the fisherman 
was dazed. Mudgala took pity on Bhrsundi and advised 
him to worship Lord Ganesa. 

From that time Bhrsundi gave up his evil ways, and 
accepting the advice of Mudgala, started the worship 
of Ganesa with single-minded devotion. As a result 
of it, an elephant's trunk began to grow from the middle 
of his forehead. Bhrsundi who thus acquired a shape 
closely resembling Ganesa, was visited by Indra, mis- 
taking him for Ganapati. (Ganesa : 1.67). 
BHU (H). In the creation of the world, the Lord broke 
the beginningless "Anda" (the primal egg or seed) 
and from it the sound "Orh" emerged. The first sound 
of it was "BHUH"; the second was "BHUVAH"; 
and the third was "SVAH". So the combination "Bhur 
Bhuvah Svah" was formed. Then came the most 
adorable and superlative effulgence of the creator 
(Savita). That radiance dried up all water. A little of 
the water became a highly viscous substance. This 
viscous matter gradually solidified and became the earth. 
Where the anda originally was became the source of 
that supreme effulgence. As it was the first radiant 
light, it came to be called Aditya (adi = first). The 
great procreator Brahma seemed to emerge from the 
centre of the anda. The garbhajala ( the water contai- 
ned in the anda) became the oceans and rivers of the 
world. (Vamana Purana, Chapter 43). 
BHUJAKETU. A king who fought on the side of Dur- 

yodhana in the Bharata Yuddha. 

BHUJANGA. A son of Kadru by Kasyapa prajapati. 

BHUJYU. A Rajarsi (royal sage), the son of Tugra. 

King Tugra sent his son with an army across the sea to 

conquer the enemies in a distant island. When the boat 




in which they sailed had reached mid-ocean, it was 
caught in a storm and wrecked. The prince and the 
soldiers sank into the sea. At that time thj prince prayed 
to the Asvins who saved Bhujyu from drowning and 
carried him back to the palace in boats and chariots 
travelling through the air. This story is given in the 
Rgveda where the adventures of Asvins are describ- 
ed. (Rgveda, 1st Mandala, 17th Anuvaka, 116th 

BHUKAMPA. (Earthquake). The cause of earth- 
quake according to ancient belief is given below: 
The earth is being supported and held in its position by 
an elephant called Virupaksa. When he feels the burden 
too heavy he shakes his head and earth tremors follow. 
(Vahniki Ramayana, Ba.laka.nda, 40th Sarga). 
BHtJLIJslGA (M). A bird which lived on the opposite 
side of the Himalayas. The cry of this bird resembles 
"MA SAHASA". 1 But this bird lived by pecking at 
and eating the flesh between the teeth of a lion. Sisupala 
mentioned this bird as an example to illustrate that 
Bhisma's advice was at variance with his practice. 
The bird exhorts people not to act in a rash way (Ma 
Sahasa) and at the same time acts rashly. 
BHUMANYU I. A king who was the grandson of King 
Dusyanta and the son of Bharata. From Mahabharata 
Adi Parva, Chapter 94, Verse 19, we see that he was 
born by the blessing of Bharadvaja. His mother was 
Sunanda, daughter of Sarvasena, King of Kas"i. When 
Bhumanyu grew up, his father Bharata entrusted him 
with the affairs of the Kingdom. Bhumanyu had six 
sons by his wife PuskarinI; they were Diviratha, Suhotra, 
Suhota, Sukavi, Suyaju, and Rcika. In Mahabharata, 
Adi Parva, Chapter 95, Verse 33, we see that he had 
another son Suhotra by a woman Vijaya, a Dasarha 
s maid. 

BHUMANYU II. There is another Bhumanyu, grandson 
of Kuru, a King of the Lunar dynasty and son of 
Dhrtarastra, mentioned in Maha Bharata, Adi Parva, 
Chapter 94, Verse 59. 

BHUMANYU III. A Deva Gandharva. He partici- 
pated in the celebrations connected with Arjuna's birth. 
(M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 91, Verse 35). 
BHUMI I. The earth. 

1 ) General. The Puranas maintain that Bhumi has a 
Devi (goddess). The births of Bhumi and its basic 
goddess are in two different ways. 
The Mahabharata, (Daksinatya Pa{ha) says that the 
goddess Bhumi was the daughter of Brahma and that 
she was married by Mahavisnu. The earth on which 
we live is the Mrtpinda of which the basic deity is this 
Bhumidevi. Of the many versions given in the Puranas 
regarding the origin of earth, three are given below : 
1 ) Long ago, towards the end of the age of floods, the 
earth was in a liquid state. At that time, Siva cut open 
his thigh and let fall a drop of blood in the water. 
It assumed the form of an "anda" (egg). Siva took that 
anda and split it. A man came out of it. From him was 
made Nature (Prakrti) for the creation of the Universe. 
One half of the broken anda became sky and the other 
half became the earth. (Kathasaritsagara, Kathapltha- 
lambaka, 2nd Taraiiga ) . 

(2) Mahavisnu lay on the surface of water which spread 
everywhere in the beginning. A lotus sprang up from 

I Ma Sahasa = Do not act rashly. 

the navel of Visnu and from its top Brahma was born. 
Liquid matter began to flow out of Visnu's ears on both 
sides. From it were born two Raksasas named Madhu 
and Kaitabha. They persecuted Brahma. Mahavisnu 
woke up and killed Madhu and Kaitabha. The thick 
fat of these Raksasas hardened into the earth. (Devi 
Bhagavata, Navama Skandlu). 

3) In the beginning Mahavisnu (Mahavirat Purusa) 
spread everywhere. In every pore of that Mahavirat 
who was lying on the surface of the water, there was a 
Brahmanda. In course of time that Virat obtained mind. 
That mind stood connected with each of the pores 
equally. Later from it were formed the "Pancamaha- 
bhutas". From their combination was formed the Bhuta 
called "Maha Prthvi". It was cut into many pieces 
and each of the pieces was deposited in each pore. 
It was these Prthvi pieces which became "Bhumis" 
at the time of creation. At the time of the floods, these 
Bhumis sank again into those pores as before. In each 
of these Brahmandas, there are the earth, mountains, 
forests, oceans, the seven islands, Himavan, Meru, 
Sun, Moon, Stars and other planets. Also, each of 
them has its own Brahma, Visnu, Siva and other Devas. 
Since all the different Bhumis in all the Brahmandas 
had been formed artificially, they all perish in the floods. 
(Devi Bhagavata, Navama Skandha). 
3) Bhumi Devi (Goddess Earth) is the wife of Maha 
Visnu. In Varaha Kalpa (Age of the Pig) the Asura 
Hiranyaksa carried the Earth and Submerged it under 
water. At once Maha visnu appeared in the form of a 
Pig and lifted up the Earth on its horns. When the Earth 
floated on the surface of water like a lotus leaf, Bhumi 
Devi who was pleased, stood up in her charming figure. 
Mahavisnu fell in love with her and with the brilliance 
of a crore of suns, had sexual union with her for the 
period of one Devavarsa. It is from that time that 
Bhumi Devi became Mahavisnu's wife. As a result 
of their union, a son named Mangala was born to 

Ghatesa is the son of Mangala. Mangala has another 
name, Covva. After the birth of Mangala, at the behest 
of Lord Visnu, all people began to offer worship to 
Bhumidevi. Mahavisnu himself first worshipped her 
by_ reciting the mantra "Om Hrlih-Srlm-Krlih-Vasu- 
dhayai Svaha". After that this mantra became popular 
for worshipping Bhumidevi. (Devi Bhagavata, Navama 

Narakasura was Bhumidevl's son by Hiranyaksa, the 
Asura. When Hiranyaksa, in the form of a pig, carried 
Bhumidevi on his horns to Patala, the horns came in 
contact with Bhumidevi and she became pregnant. 
In Bhagavata, Das"ama Skandha we read that Naraka- 
sura was born as the result of this contact. (See the 
word Naraka I). 

Sita was the daughter of Bhumidevi, born on another 
occasion. Sita was married by the Kosala King Sri 
Rama. When she was abandoned by her husband, 
she was at last accepted by Bhumidevi within her own 
self. (See the word Sita). 

4) Bhumi and Prahldda. Since Bhumidevi had been the 
wife of the Asura Hiranyaksa she has also been called 
the mother of the Asura clan. Hiranyaksa's brother was 




Hiranyakasipu. Prahlada, the son of Hiranyakasipu, 
was a devotee of Visnu. The father did not like the son's 
devotion to Visnu. So he persecuted Prahlada in various 
ways. Once he threw down Prahlada from the top of 
a high building. At that time Bhumi devi appeared there 
and received him in her arms. (Brahmanda Purana, 
Chapter 24). 

5) Bhumidevi and Prthu. Once the Emperor Prthu 
turned Bhumidevi into a cow and milched all resources 
from her. (For details, see the word Prthu). 

6 ) Pdrvati's curse. Once Parvati and Siva indulged in 
their sexual act for many years. The earth began to 
shake to its foundations. The gods approached Siva 
with a request to refrain and he agreed. Siva's semen 
was discharged and fell on the earth. Parvati who was 
angry at this, cursed Bhumidevi as follows: "You 
Bhumidevi ! You will assume many forms and become 
the wife of many. Since you have prevented me from 
giving birth to a son, no children will be born to you 
in future." (Valmiki Ramayana, Balakanda, 36th Sarga). 

7) Other details. 

( 1 y Narakasura has another name, "Bhauma". (M.B. 
Sabha Parva, Daksinatya Patha, Chapter 38). 

( 2) Bhumidevi prayed to Sri Krsna and obtained Vaisna- 
vastra for her son Narakasura. (M.B. Drona Parva, 
Chapter 29, Verse 30). 

( 3) When Parasurama was carrying on the annihilation 
of Ksatriyas, Bhumidevi induced the sage Kasyapa to 
entreat Parasurama to stop his massacre of Bhupalas. 
(Protectors of Bhumi = Ksatriyas). (M.B. Santi Parva, 
Chapter 79, Verse 44). 

(4) Once she (Bhumidevi) described to Sri Krsna, 
the greatness of Brahminhood. (M.B. Anuxasana 
Parva, Chapter 34, Verse 22). 

( 5) At another time she explained to Sri Krsna the 
nature of Grhasthasramadharma. (Duties of a horse- 
holder). (M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 97, Verse 5). 

( 6) On one occasion , when King Anga touched her, 
Bhumidevi lost her own form and vanished. At that 
time, Kasyapa prajapati paralysed her. (M.B. Anusa- 
sana Parva, Chapter 152, Verse 2). 

( 7) Parasurama gifted the whole earth to the sage 
Kasyapa. From that time Bhumidevi has been called 
"Kasyapl" (daughter of Kasyapa). (M.B. Anusasana 
Parva, Chapter 154, Verse 7). 

BHUMI II. Wife of Dhruva. This Bhumi devi, the 

daughter of Sisumara had two sons named Kalpa and 

Vatsala, by Dhruva. (Bhagavata, Caturtha Skanda). 
BHUMI III. Another Bhumi, who was the wife of a king 

named Bhumipati is mentioned in M.B. Udyoga 

larva, Chapter 117, Verse 14). 
BHUMINJAYA. A warrior who fought on the side of 

the Kauravas. He took his position in the centre of the 

"Garuda Vyuha" (Name of a phalanx) formed by 

Drona. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 20, Verse 13). 
BHUMIPALA. A Ksatriya king of ancient India. He 

was born from a portion of an Asura called Krodhavasa. 

(M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 61). 
BHUMIPARVA. A subdivision of Bhlsmaparva in 

Mahabhiirata. Chapters 11 and 12 of Bhlsma 1'arva 

are included in this. 

i In Agnipurana, Chapter 278, we see another statement that isanlanu, king of the Lunar 
Balhika and Somada and of them Balhika had four sons, Somadatta, Bhuri, BhOrisravas and Sala. 

BHUMIPATI. A king of ancient India. There is a refe- 
rence to this King in M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 
117, Verse 14. 

BHUMlSAYA. A king in ancient India. M.B. Santi 
Parva, Chapter 166, verse 75 says that King Amiirta- 
rayas gave a sword to Bhumij'aya who gifted it to Bharata, 
the son of Dusyanta. 

BHUPATI. A visvadeva. (M.B. Anusasana Parva, 
Chapter 91, Verse 32). 

BHURI I. A king of the Kuru dynasty. Somadatta, 
king of the Kuru dynasty had three sons, Bhuri, Bhuri- 
sravas and Sala. 3 In M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 185, 
we read that they had attended the Svayamvara of 
DraupadI and in Sabha Parva, Chapter 94 it is said 
that they had taken part in Yudhisthira's Rajasuya. 
In Drona Parva, Chapter 166, we read that this King 
Bhuri was slain by Satyaki during the war between 
Kauravas and Pandavas. After death, Bhuri obtained 
a place with the Visvedevas. (M.B. Svargarohana 
Parva, Chapter 5, Verse 16). 

BHURI II. A son of the sage Suka. Vyasa's son, Suka 
married Plvari, the daughter of Pitrs. She had four 
sons by Suka, who were named Krsna, Gauraprabha, 
Bhuri and Devairuta, and a daughter named Kirti. 
(Devi Bhagavata, Prathama Skandha). 

BHURIBALA. (BillMABALA). One of the hundred 
sons of Dhrtarastra. Mahabharata Salya Parva, Chap- 
ter 26, Verse 14 says that at the battle of Kuruksetra he 
was slain by Bhlmasena. 

BHURIDYUMNA I. A king in the assembly of Yama. 
He attained Heaven (Svargaloka) by virtue of his 
having performed godana (gift of cow). (M.B. Sabha 
Parva, Chapter 8, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 76). 

BHURIDYUMNA II. A Maharsi. This sage once went 
to Hastinapura as a messenger of peace. On the way he 
met with Sri Krsna whom he reverently worshipped by 
doing "Pradaksinfi". 

BHURIDYUMNA ill. He was the only son of Viradyu- 
mna, a King. Bhuridyumna was lost somewhere in the 
forest. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 127, Verse 14) 

BHURIHAN. A Raksasa. He was a king in ancient 
times. (M.B. Santi Parva, Chapter 277, Verse 51 ). 

BHURIKIRTI. A king. He had two daughters, Campika 
and Sumati who were married by Lava and Ku;:a res- 
pectively. (Ananda Ramayana, Vivaha Kanda). 


( 1 ) General. He was the son of Somada, a king of 
Kuruvanua (Kuru dynasty). 

(2) Other details. Bhurisravas had two brothers named 
Bhuri and Sala. They were all present at the Svayam- 
vara of DraupadI. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 185, 
Verse 14). 

( 3) He once described to Duryodhana, the heroic quali- 
ties of the Pandavas and advised him to maintain peace- 
ful relations with them. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 199, 
Daksinatya Patha). 

(4) He took part in Yudhisthira's Rajasuya yajfia 
with his father and brothers. (M.B. Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 34, Verse 8). 

(5) In the war between Kauravas and Pandavas, he 
arrived with an "Aksaiihim" (A division of the army) 
in order to give help to Duryodhana. (M.B. Udyoga 
Parva, Chapter 19, Verse 16). 

dynasly, had three tecs, Dcvapi, 



(6)Bhisma once remarked that Bhurisravas deserved 
to be counted among the Rathis and Yuthapatis. 
(Udyoga Parva, Chapter 165, Verse 29). 

( 7) On the first day of the battle at Kuruksetra Bhuri- 
sravas fought a duel with Sarhkha. (Bhlsma Parva, 
Chapter 45, Verse 35). 

(8) He fought with Satyaki (Bhlsma Parva, Chapter 63, 
Verse 33). 

(9) He killed the ten sons of Satyaki. (Bhlsma Parva, 
Chapter 74, Verse 25). 

(10) Defeated Dhrs{aketu in battle. (Bhlsma Parva, 
Chapter 84, Verse' 35). 

(11) He fought a duel with Bhimasena. (Bhlsma Parva, 
Chapter 11, Verse 44). 

(12) A duel was fought with Sikhandi. (Drona Parva, 
Chapter 43, Verse 45). 

( 13) Bhurisravas fell down under the stroKe of Satyaki. 
(Drona Parva, Chapter 142, Verse 59). 

( 14) Arjuna cut off the left arm of Bhurisravas. (Drona 
.Parva, Chapter 141, Verse 72). 

(15) Enraged by Arjuna's action, Bhurisravas squatted 
on th: ground to attain Svarga (Heaven). (Drona Parva, 
Chapter 143, Verse 33). 

(16) Satyaki killed Bhurisravas. (Drona Parva, Chapter 
143, Verse 54). 

(17) After death Bhurisravas became a Visvadeva. 
(Svargarohana Parva, Chapter 5, Verse 16). 

( 18) Some of the other names of Bhurisravas given in 
Mahabharata are : Bhuridaksina, Salagraja, Kaurava, 
Kauraveya, Kauravya, Yupaketana, Yupaketu, Sardula, 
Kurusrestha, Kurudvaha. 

BHORITEJAS. A king in ancient India. He was born 
from a portion of the Asura Krodhavasa, according 
to Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 67, Verse 63). 

BHUSUISPA. A dispassionate and large-hearted crow. 
The residence of this crow was a Kalpavrksa standing 
on a beautiful peak surrounded by luxuriant vegetation 
in the north-eastern corner of Mahameru. There were 
numerous bird-nests on the southern branch of that 
Kalpavrksa. In one of them lived this centuries-old 

Once when the sage Vasistha went to Devaloka, he 
happened to hear about this crow. He went to see 
Bhusunda in its nest. The crow recognised Vasistha 
at once. They exchanged greetings. The sage opened 
the conversation as follows: "Oh, King of birds ! 
when were you born ? How did you become a great 
soul ? How old are you ? Have you recollections of the 
past ? Who was the prophet who suggested this residence 
for you ?" 

The bird calmly replied as follows : "If you are interes- 
ted in hearing my past history I shall tell you. Lord 
Sankara the Almighty lives in this world. He has numer- 
ous attendant spirits. Besides these spirits who have 
hoofs on their head, hands in the hoofs, teeth in 
the hands and stomach in the face, and who have faces 
resembling those of monkeys, camels, and elephants, 
he has also hordes of Matrs in his retinue. The Matrs, 
attended by spirits continue their dance in the presence 
of the Lord. Mountain peaks, the sky, the different 
worlds, deep pits, cremation grounds, etc. are their 
haunts. Chief among these Matrs are eight sisters 
named, Jaya, Vijaya, Jayant!, Aparahita, Siddha, 
Rakta, Alambusa and Ulpala. They have other follow- 
ers also. Alambusa's vehicle is the crow named Canda. 


All these Matrs assembled together on one occasion to 
celebrate a festival in the sky. There was a display of 
many kinds of entertainments at that time. Disputations 
in spiritual matters, music, dancing, drinking and other 
forms of hilarious activities were freely indulged in. 
In another part of the sky, their vehicles were also 
enjoying themselves with similar celebrations of drinking, 
dancing, and merry-making. The swans who were the 
vehicles of BrahmidevI were dancing in one place, 
intoxicated by drink. Canda, the crow, who was Alam- 
busa's vehicle, also joined their company. Completely 
absorbed in their delirious raptures, the intoxicated 
swans indulged so freely in their amorous pleasures with 
Canda that they became pregnant. At last when the 
merry-makings ended and all of them dispersed, the swans 
became aware of their plight and informed Brahml 
about it. The gracious goddess (Brahml) told them 
that in their present state they were unable to discharge 
their duties in drawing her chariot and so they were allow- 
ed to go and enjoy themselves wherever they liked. After 
this she entered into a trance. The swans in the fullness 
of time, gave birth to twentyone sons. We, the twenty- 
one brothers, arc those children. We and our mothers 
went to BrahmidevI and offered worship to her for a 
long time. As a result, the Devi woke up from her trance 
and pleased with us, gave us her blessing. After that, 
we went to our father (Canda) and off. red our devoted 
services to him and prostrated before him and Alam- 
busadevl. They blessed us. We asked our father to 
suggest a most suitable place for a secluded life. This 
Kalpa Vrksa is the secluded place recommended by 
him. We paid obeisance to our father and Alambu- 
sadevi and came to settle down here. Many ages have 
passed since then. Now your visit and holy presence 
here, have liberated me from all worldly bonds and 
ennobled my life. My twenty brothers lived for many 
Kalpas and yugas at the end of which, convinced of the 
meaninglessness of worldly life, renounced their bodies 
and attained Sivaloka. 

On hearing this, Vasistha asked Bhusunda to tell him 
more about his past life. Bhusunda resumed his story: 
"Long long ago, the whole earth was full of big rocks, 
without trees, forests or mountains. After a great flood 
the surface of the earth was covered with ashes. In 
one caturyuga (a period equal to the length of the four 
yugas, Krta, treta, dvapara and Kali) the earth was 
filled with forest trees and in another Caturyuga, moun- 
tain ranges appeared. I have seen an age in which 
Brahmanas were drunkards, Sudras were virtuous and 
women of noble families committed adultery. You 
have now been born in the eightieth "Janma" as the 
son of Brahma. You were born once from the sky, at 
another time from water, then from the mountain and 
again from fire. I can remember this earth sinking into 
the ocean five times and Lord Visnu taking the form of 
a tortoise, lifting it up, above the water. I have seen the 
ocean of milk being churned twelve times. I know that 
Hiranyaksa had taken the earth three times to Patala 
(underworld). The Lord has incarnated six times as 
Bhargava Rama. Incarnation of Buddha has taken 
place in six Kaliyugas. Tripuradahana (burning of 
the Tripurasuras) has taken place thirty times. Daksa 
yaga was broken up twice. Lord Siva has slain ten 
Indras. He fought seven times with Sri Krsna for the 
sake of Bana. I also remember another epic entitled 




"Ramayana", containing one lakh of verses and dealing 
with metaphysical problems. I have seen the customs 
of Krtayuga being followed in Kaliyuga and the customs 
of Kaliyuga being followed in Krtayuga." 
Having heard the whole story, Vasistha gave his blessing 
to Bhu^unda and left the place. (Jnana Vasistha, 
Bhu undopakhyana). 

BHUTADHAMA. An Indra. This Indra is different 
from the actual Indra. There is reference to this Indra 
in Mahabharata, Adi Parva, Chapter 96, Verse 28. 

BHUTAJYOTI. A king who was the father of Vasu and 
son of Sumati. 

BHUTAKARMA. A warrior who fought on the side of 
the Kauravas in the battle at Kuruksetra. He was 
killed by Satanika, the son of Nakula. (M.B. Drona 
Parva, Chapter 22, Verse 25). 

BHUTALAYA (M). A famous village in the puranas. 
It was a resort of thieves and robbers. Dead bodies 
were often thrown into the river which was flowing 
through this village. Mahabharata, Vana Parva, Chap- 
ter 129, verse 9 says that it was against Sastras to bathe 
in this river. 

BHUTAMATHANA. A warrior of Subrahmanya. (M. 
B. Salya Parva, Chapter 45, Verse 69). 

BHUTASANTAPANA. One of the sons of Hiranyaksa. 
(Bhagavata, Saptama Skandha). 

BHfJTASARMA. A warrior who fought on the side of 
the Kauravas against the Pandavas. He had taken his 
position in the "Garudavyuha" (name of a phalanx) 
formed by Dronacarya. (M.B. Drona Parva, Chapter 
20, Verse 6). 

BHUTAS. (A set of beings created by Rudra). 

1 ) General. A Manava class or sect in ancient India. 
In the Puranas, this Manava sect is classified into four 
subdivisions. (1 ) Dhirmapraja (2) IsVarapraja (3) 
Kasyapiyapraja (4) Pulahapraja. 

2) Birth. In the Brahmanda Purana there is the follow- 
ing story about the birth and shape of Bhutas: 
Bhutas are one of the subdivisions of Pulaha's creations. 
Long ago, Brahma asked the Rudra, Nilalohita, to 
perform the function of creation. Accordingly he begot 
thousands of Bhutas in the womb of his wife Sati. All 
the issues were the exact replica of his own figure. 
Lean limbs, long ears, thick hanging lips, red eyes, bushy 
eyebrows, long, pointed and protruding teeth, long nails, 
matted dirty hair etc. were the grotesque features of 
these Bhutas. These music-haters used serpents as their 
Yajnopa vitas (sacred threads). These spirits who loitered 
in Siva's assembly were, as a rule, naked and carried 
skulls on their heads. But at times they wore fantastic 
dress with elephant skin. Their chief weapons were, 
trident, bow, sword, etc. 

3) Bhuta Chief. In the Puranas, Rudra is acknowledged 
as the Bhuta chief. That is why Rudra is known by such 
names as "Bhutanayaka", "Gananayaka", "Rudranu- 
cara", "Bhavaparisada" etc. But since the common 
name Rudra is used for the ruler (king) of all the 
Bhutas, Vamana Purana declares that Rudra is not an 
individual. Both Vamanapurana and Matsyapurana 
represent Virabhadra and Nandikesvara as two Rudras 
who are the masters of Bhutas. (Matsyapurana 181, 
2; Vamanapurana 4, 17). 

In Vamana Purana, the number of Bhutas is given as 
1 1 crores. Skanda, Sakha, Bhairava are the chief among 
them. Under them are innumerable Bhutas, Ashes 

and Khatvamga etc. are their weapons. The emblem 
on the banner is a cow or a bird. That is how the 
Gananayakas have got the titles like "Mayuradhvaja", 
"Mayuravahana". (Vamana Purana 67, 1-23). 
4) War with Asuras. In the war between Siva and 
Andhakasura, the Bhutas fought on the side of Siva. 
It was Vinayaka, the master of the Bhuta hordes who 
first came into conflict with the Asura. In that battle 
Andhaka defeated Vinayaka. After that, Nandi, an- 
other leader of the Bhutas, attacked Andhaka jointly 
with Vinayaka and defeated him. At last, Andhaka 
approached Siva himself for protection, and Siva received 
him and appointed him as commander of one of his 
hordes of Bhutas. It is this Andhakasura who later 
became famous under the name of Bhriigi. 
In this way, the Bhutas had fought many battles with 
the Asuras, joining the party of the Devas. But at the 
time of Daksa's yajna, they joined the party of the Asuras 
and opposed the Devas. 

Although the Bhutas won all the battles they fought both 
on the side of the Devas and on the side of the Asuras, 
in the end they had to leave north India and to come and 
settle down in south India. By the time of Vaivasvata 
manvantara they had already become South Indians. 

BHUTIVARMA. A Raksasa who was the friend of 
Kanabhuti. (Kathasaritsagara). 

BHUVANA I. A Maharsi who visited Bhisma when he 
was lying on the verge of death. (M.B. Anusasana 
Parva, Chapter 26, Verse 81). 

BHUVANA II. A sanatana Visvadeva. There is a 
reference to him in M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 91, 
Verse 35.). 

BHUVANA II. A sanatana Visvadeva. There is a 
reference to him in M.B. Anusasana Parva, Chapter 
91, Verse 35.). 

BHUVANA. Brhaspati's sister. She was married to 
Prabhasa, one of the As^avasus. A son named Visva- 
karma was born to them. (Brahmanda Purana, 3-3-21- 

BHUVANESA. See the word Bhadrasravas. 

BlBHATSU. One of the ten names of Arjuna. He got 
this name because he desisted from doing loathful acts. 
"I will never resort to loathful deeds in war. Therefore 
the devas and men call me Bibhatsu". (Mahabharata, 
Virata Parva, Chapter 44, Stanza 18). 

BIDALA. A minister of Mahisasura. (Devi Bhagavata). 

BIpALOPAKHYANA. See the word Dirhdika. 

BIDAUJAS. A son born to Aditi by the blessings of 
Visnu. (Padma Purana, Bhumikanda, Chapter 3). 

BILVA. (VILVA). A devotee of Visnu. There is a 
story in Skanda Purana about Bilva who lived as a 
Vaisnavite first and then was converted to a Saivite. 
In the beginning Brahma created many things among 
which Vilva (tree) (Crataeva religiosa) also was 
created. Under that tree an anonymous man began to 
live. Brahma gave him the name Vilva. Being pleased 
at the behaviour and devotion of Bilva, Indra asked him 
to turn the wheel of administration of the earth. Accep- 
ting the offer Bilva requested Indra to give him the 
Vajra (diamond) for the smooth running of the adminis- 
tration of the earth. Indra told him that vajrayudha 
(diamond-weapon ) would be at his disposal, when he 
thought about it, if the occasion required it. 
Once Kapila a Saivite reached the palace of Bilva. 
After a long conversation both became fast friends. One 




day there was a debate between Bilva and Kapila as to 
whether penance or Action (doing one's duty) was 
appreciable. In this discussion Bilva lost the equilibrium 
of his mind and thinking of the diamond-weapon of 
Indra cut off the head of Kapila. In Kapila there was 
the power of penance as well as the pov\er of Siva. So 
through Siva Kapila got immortality. In the meanwhile 
Bilva went to Visnu and got a boon that every living 
thing in the earth should fear him. But the boon was 
futile. This was a turning point for Bilva. The mind of 
Bilva changed to devotion for Siva. He concentrated his 
attention on the worship of Sivalinga at the forest of 
Mahakala. One day Kapila came by that way and was 
greeted by Bilva with honour and regard, and they 
again became fast friends. 

BILVAKA. A famous serpent born to Kasyapa praja- 
pati of his wife Kadru. (Mahabharata, Adi Parva, 
Chapter 35, Stanza 12). 

BILVAKATlRTHA. A holy place in Haradvara. It is 
mentioned in Mahabharata, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 
25, Stanza 13 that those who bathe in this holy Bath will 
attain heaven. 

BILVAPAl^DURA. A serpent. The father of this serpent 
was Kasyapa and mother, Kadru. (M.B. Adi Parva, 
Chapter 35, Stanza 12). 

BILVAPATRA. A serpent born in the family of Kasyapa 
prajapati. (M.B. Udyoga Parva, Chapter 103, Stanza 

BILVATEJA. A serpent born in the family of Taksaka. 
This serpent was burnt to death by falling in the sacrificial 
fire of Janamejaya. (M.B. Adi Parva, Chapter 57, 
Stanza 9). 

BINDUGA. A Brahmana who lived in the village of 
Baskala. Being a frequenter of the houses of harlots 
and of various other mean habits, he had led his wife 
Cancala also to lead an immoral life. Once Binduga 
called his wife and told her thus: "You may continue 
the life of a harlot; but all the money acquired must be 
handed over to me." Thus they continued their lives 
and after their death both were reborn as devils in the 
mountain of Vindhya. In the midst of their life as devils, 
once it chanced for Cancala to hear the Siva Purana 
recited and she got her shape of devil changed. She 
requested Parvati to change the shape of her husband 
also. Parvati sent her attendant Tumburu to Binduga 
to tell him the story of Siva and thus he also got his form 
changed. (Siva Purana Mahatmya). 

BINDUMATl. The queen of the great King Mandhata. 
BindumatI was the daughter of the King Sasabindu. 
Purukutsa and Mucukunda were the two sons born to 
her from Mandhata. (Devi Bhagavata, Skandha 7). 

BINDUSARAS. A holy place famous in the Puranas. 
The following information is obtained from the Puranas 
about this holy place. 

f 1 ) Bindusaras lies on the north of the Mount Kailasa. 
(Mahabharata Sabha Parva, Chapter 3, Stanza 2). 

( 2) It was at Bindusaras that Bhaglratha did penance 
to bring down Ganga to the earth (Sabha Parva, Chapter 
3, Stanza 10). 

( 3) Devendra performed hundred sacrifices at this place. 
(Maha Bharata, Sabha Parva, Chapter 3). 

(4) Once Siva performed a sacrifice at Bindusaras. 
(Sabha Parva, Chapter 3). 

( 5) Sri Krsna did penance here for several years to get 
righteousness. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 3, Stanza 11). 

( 6) At this place, Maya, the asura gave Ar juna the famous 
conch known as Devadatta and to Bhlmasena the famous 
club of Vrsaparva. (Sabha Parva, Chapter 3). 

BODHA. A king. In the Mahabharata, Sabha Parva, 
Chapter 14, Stanza 20, mention is made that this King 
fled to South India with his brothers and relatives fearing 
the attack of Jarasandha. 

BODHA(M). A place in ancient India. It is famous 
in the Puranas. Mention is made about this place 
in M_ahabharata. Bhisma Parva, Chapter 9, Stanza 39. 

BODHAYANA. An individual of the lineage of teachers. 
(See the word Guruparariipara ) . 

BODHISATTVA. A good-natured husband generally 
quoted in Sanskrit works. The following is the story 
given about him in Kathasaritsagara, Tarariga 9. 
Once there lived a wealthy Vaisya. who had a son named 
Bodhisattva. When the childhood of the boy was at an 
end his mother died. The Vaisya married again and got 
his son also married. Because of the ear-buzzing of his 
wife, the Vaisya drove his son out of the house. Bodhi- 
sattva left the house of his father, with his wife. By 
and by they reached a desert. Not a drop of water was to 
be had. There was not even the shoot of a grass. It was a 
sandy place with nothing else in sight. He walked for 
seven days carrying his wife on his shoulders. His wife 
grew weary and worn with hunger and thirst. Seeing 
that she was about to die he gave her his flesh and blood. 
The wicked woman took them and saved herself from 
death. On the eighth day they reached the jungles of a 
hilly place full of fruit-trees and with a river with grassy 
banks, flowing down to the valley. With fruits and cool 
water he appeased the hunger and thirst of his wife. 
Then he got down to the river to take a bath. He saw 
a man with his limbs cut off, coming afloat. Now and 
then he was producing pitiable sounds. The kind son of 
the Vaisya, without minding his weakness due to fast for 
the last seven days, swam to the man and brought him to 
the bank of the river. He did all services possible for him. 
Then he asked him who had cut off his limbs. He rep- 
lied that his enemies had done so, with the intention that 
he might die suffering severe pain for a long time. The 
Vaisya's son stood still for a little while. Then he took 
his bath. With his wife he lived in the forest doing 
penance. The wounds of the man he saved had been 
healed. The Vaisya's son, one day, went out to the 
forest to gather fruits and roots for their food. At that 
time his wife grew lustful and had coition with the man 
without limbs. Gradually she began to dote on him. She 
decided to kill her husband who was an impediment on 
her way. She pretended to be ill. The Vaisya's son began 
to treat her. One day she took her husband to the edge of 
a very deep well and said: "See, there is a divine herb at 
the bottom of this well. I will be cured if I could eat it. 
This is what a goddess told me in a dream yesternight". 
Hearing this her husband made a rope, and tied it to a 
tree. Then he began to go down the well by the rope. 
She cut the rope and the man fell into the well. There 
was a passage from the well to the river. The current 
took him through that passage to the river. He got out of 
the river, and sat under a tree thinking of the wickedness 
of women. There was a city close by. At that time the 
King of the city was dead and there was no heir left. The 
subjects of the city brought an elephant and said, "whom 
ever this elephant takes and places on his back shall be 
our king". They sent the elephant out. The elephant 




was pleased at the virtuous character of the son of the 
Vaisya. So taking him, as if he was God, placed him on 
its back and walked to the city. The people gathered 
round him and anointed him as their King. Trie son of 
the Vaisya became King. He never even thought of 
women who are generally fickle and wicked. 
The wicked wife of the Vaisya's son took the limbless 
man on her shoulder and wandered about saying, "The 
enemies of my husband have put him in this plight. 
Because of my conjugal fidelity I carry him thus and 
earn our daily bread. Please give us alms". In this 
manner she spent her days in begging. Thus wandering 
from place to place she reached the city where the 
Vaisya's son was the King. The people, seeing her 
loyalty to her husband, honoured her and spoke highly 
of her. Hearing that a very loyal wife had reached his 
city the King sent for her. The King recognized her 
instantly. But she did not know him. The King reminded 
her of her deeds of the past one by one and began to 
tease and scold her. Finally when she understood that 
the King was her husband she was dumb-founded. The 
amazed ministers looked at each other. The King reveal- 
ed everything to them. The ministers disfigured her and 
drove her away. 

BODHYA. A famous teacher-priest. Once there was a 
discussion between Nahusa and Bodhya on Philosophy. 
The summary of what Bodhya said is as follows: 
Before I advise others, I do it myself first. I am the tea- 
cher of none. I take the world as my teacher. I learned 
the lessons of harmlessness from snakes, disappointment 
from Pirigala the harlot, self-sacrifice from animals, 
concentration from the archer, and loneliness from a maid 
who is a spinster. (M.B., Sand Parva, 171, 56, 61 ). 
This hermit came to the King Yayati and taught him 
philosophy and ethics. The whole of the Chapter 171 
of Mahabharata, Santi Parva, comprises the exhortations 
of this hermit, which are known by the famous name 
Bodhya -Gita (Song of Bodhya). 

BRADHNA&VA. A king. Agastya once approached this 
King to request him for some wealth. (See the word 


One of the trimurtis of the Hindu Pantheon. The tri- 
murtis are Brahma, Visnu and Siva. 

1 ) General information. God who is the creator of the 
Universe. It is mentioned in the Puranas that Brahma 
creates, Visnu preserves and Paramasiva destroys the 

2) The birth of Brahma. The birth of Brahma is from 
the nave of Visnu. It is mentioned in Devi Purana, 
Skandha 1, about the birth of Brahma as follows: 
In the beginning Mahavisnu lay on a banian leaf in the 
shape of a baby and began to think, "Who am I? Who 
created me ? What for ? What is my work ? Where to 
work ?" and so on. At that time an ethereal voice said : 
"Sarvarh khalvidamevaharh nanyadasti sanata- 
nam".* Mahavisnu was amazed at this ethereal 
voice. He did not know whose oracle it was. Still He 
lay meditating upon the words. Then Mahadevi, 
with four hands and weapons such as Sankha (conch), 
Cakra (wheel), Gada (club), Padma (lotus) and 
maids who are prosperities and having worn glorious 
clothes and ornaments, and accompanied by the Saktis 

(powers) named Rati, Bhiiti, Buddhi, Mati, Klrti, 
Dhrti, Smrti, Sraddha, Medha, Svadha, Svaha, Ksudha, 
Nidra, Daya, Gati, Tusti, Pusti, Ksama, Lajja, Jrrhbha 
and Tandra, appeared before Mahavisnu, who was 
struck with wonder. Mahadevi said, "Oh, Visnu, what 
is there to wonder at ? Every time the universe is sub- 
jected to creation, preservation and destruction, you 
are born thus due to the great power of the supreme 
spirit. It seems that you have forgotten those matters. 
Know that the supreme power is beyond qualities. We 
are all with qualities. Your main quality is Sattva. 
From your nave Brahma will be born. His attribute is 
Rajoguna (activity, passion or motion ) . From the middle 
of the eyebrows of Brahma, will be born Rudra, whose 
attribute will be Tamasaguna (darkness). Brahma, 
with the power of penance, will acquire the ability of 
creation and by his attribute of Rajoguna will create 
the world in the colour of blood. You will be the preserver 
of that world. The same world will be destroyed by 
Rudra at the end of the Kalpa (world age)". 
Accordingly from the nave ofVisnu a lotus grew up and 
in that lotus flower Brahma took his form. The same 
Brahmadeva did penance before Mahavisnu and Jaga- 
damba, who were pleased at his penance and gave him 
all the boons he wanted. After that Brahma began the 
work of creation. He created with his mind the Saptarsis, 
(seven sages) and then the Prajapatis (the lords of 
emanation). From them all the movables and the 
immovables in the universe came into existence. (Devi 
Bhagavata, Skandha 7). 

In manusmrti, Chapter 1 , the following stanza about the 
creation of Brahma occurs. 

"Tadandamabhavad haimam 

Sahasramsusamaprabham / 

Tasmin jajne svayam Brahma 

Sarvalokapitamahah" // 

That egg was as radiant as the Sun, with the colour of 
gold. Brahma the great grandfather of everything in the 
world took birth by himself in it. 
From the supreme power, an egg fell on the water which 
was the first creation. That egg became a germ of golden 
colour. Creating a life, which had done penance in its 
former births in such a way as to enable it to become 
Brahma, in the golden germ of the egg, the supreme power 
entered the life that is to become Brahma as its inner 
guide. That Brahma is known as the Pitamaha (Grand- 
father of the manes ) or Paternal grandfather of all the 

Vamanapurana Chapter 43 states as follows about the 
creation of Brahma : 

Ages before the beginning, when all the worlds with 
everything they contained were submerged in the single 
ocean of the great flood, the germ of living things formed 
itself into a big egg. Brahma who had been inside the 
egg went to a long sleep. The sleep continued for a 
thousand yugas (ages ) when Brahma woke up ; as 
Sattva guna (purity) was the foremost attribute of him, 
he saw that the world was void. When the thought of 
creation occurred in his mind Rajoguna (activity or 
passion) became his foremost attribute. Rajas is the 
attribute that creates and Sattva, that which preserves. 
At the time of destruction Tamoguna (darkness) be- 
comes the foremost attribute. That Bhagavan (Supreme 

I Idam sarvam khalu aham eva, Sanatanam anyad nasti. All these are myself. Except me there is nothing eternal. 




Spirit) the Purusa (the Male creative Energy) pervades 
over everything, in all the living worlds. That Eternal 
Being is Brahma, Visnu, Siva. 

Knowing that the world was lying in pure water, the 
Bhagavan (Supreme Being) cut the egg open. From it the 
Omkara (the sacred syllable 'Om' ) emanated. The 
first sound of it was 'Bhuh', the second, sound, 'Bhuvah' 
and the third sound 'Svah'. So they came to be known 
as "Bhurbhuvah Svah". Then the glorious radiance of 
the sun was born from it and Brahma the grandfather of 
the worlds originated in the centre of the egg. 

3) Instigation to compose Ramayana. It was Brahma who 
instigated Valmlki to compose the Ramayana. 

A fowler of the forest tribe shot down one of a couple of 
snipes which were carrying on love-making, on the banks 
of the River Tamasa. Seeing this Valmiki cursed the 
fowler. The curse came out of the mouth of Valmlki 
in the form of a verse, 1 "ma nisada pratistham tvama- 
gamah sasvatih samah, yat krauncamithunadekam, 
avadhih kamamohitam," which according to hearsay, 
is the first piece of poetry in the world. Brahma who 
was attracted by the poetry came to the hermitage of 
Valmiki and instigated him to compose the story of 
Rama in verse. It is stated in Valmiki Ramayana, 
Balakanda, Sarga 2, that the Ramayana was composed 

4) Havana is given a boon. It was Brahma who made 
Ravana an ever-powerful hero. Penance was done by 
Ravana in the vicinity of the Himalayas and Brahma 
appeared before him and granted him the boon that no 
living creature except man, would kill him. (Valmiki 
Ramayana, Bala Kanda, Sarga 16). 

5) The loss of a head. Long ago Siva plucked off a head 
of Brahma. This story occurs in various puranas with 
slight changes. Two of them are given below: 

(1) In olden days, in the period of Satyayuga, Maha- 
visnu did penance in Svetadvlpa (the island Sveta) 
to obtain Eternal Bliss, being deeply engaged in the study 
of Brahmavidya. Brahma also went to another place 
and began to do penance for the suppression of passions. 
Both were doing severe penance. So they began to 
walk in order to take rest from the penance. On the way 
they met each other. One asked "who are you ?" The 
other also asked the same question. The talk ended in a 
contest as to who was the greater of the two. Each 
claimed himself to be the supreme power of the world. 
Neither of them was prepared to recognize the claims 
of the other. In the midst of this contest, a phallus,